UTTOXETER rugby boss Donald Hayes admitted his men were in shock after slumping to their first defeat of the season.
The Oldfields outfit went down 3-0 as hosts Clee Hill kicked the only points 10 minutes from the end of an uneventful game.
Hayes said: “We are still in shock over the result.
In all honestly we didn’t see it coming and I think it was caused by lack of respect for the opposition.
“Our mindset was not correct from the off and we did not start well and never recovered to play to our best.
“We did create enough to win the game, but it just wasn’t our day.
“It should be a lesson learned now, but only time will tell whether we get the big response from the players we are looking for.
“We highlighted at the start of the season that the away games were going to be crucial in this campaign — and it is already ringing true because there has been a vast difference between our performances at home and on the road.” Uttoxeter failed to do anything with the ball in the first 20 minutes and had a left off when a Clee Hill penalty opportunity sailed wide.
The first notable attack by the visitors saw Jake Cabrera pick up and ran from the scrum.
After a ruck, the ball was fed to Pete Allen, who made 10 yards before being brought down.
Clee Hill were penalised and Uttoxeter opted for a penalty only for Paul Milward’s effort to miss the target.
Ben Gallimore came close as James Williams released the winger up the right flank, but he was bundled into touch as he ran out of space.
Clee Hill conceded a penalty wide out to the left inside their 22 and Uttoxeter opted for goal in the aim of getting the scoreboard ticking over.
This time Milward was unlucky to hit the near post with the tough effort and winger James Gill was tackled 10 metres after scooping up the rebound In the second half Uttoxeter’s pack were much improved, with Bruce Mustard a menace to Clee Hill in the lineout where he stole possession on a number of occasions.
Uttoxeter looked most dangerous on the break, Tom Sherrat claiming a high ball and spinning off of Gallimore.
The strong winger then brushed off a tackle before elusively weaving his way through Clee HIll’s backs.
He sprinted on and was brought down inside the hosts half and Uttoxeter were unable to capitalise as play broke down.
Ten minutes into the half Bobby Armett was sin-binned and Hayes entered the fray for his scrummaging prowess.
Clee Hill made the most of the numerical advantage and got on the attack.
Their centre skipped through a tackle inside his own half and ran wide he stripped Uttoxeter’s backs and was left one on one with Sherrat.
Sherrat bundled the centre into touch with a vital tackle and Uttoxeter were able to get back and clear their lines.
With about 10 minutes to Clee Hill were awarded a penalty and opted for goal. It proved to be the right decision as the ball was sent sailing between the posts to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Clee attempted a chip over the top where Gill called the mark and, taking the free kick quickly, he was able to feed out to Milward.
The scrum half darted upfield and with Sherrat, Gallimore and Lakin in support play was taken into Clee’s Half once more. However, Uttoxeter were penalised for diving over the ball and again the break could not be exploited.
Uttoxeter remain second in the league but Harborne have a game in hand.
The 2nd XV moved up to second place in the Merit Table by hammering Stoke 3rds 71-0.
Try scorers were Seth Doughty-Thorpe (3), Morgan Richardson (2), Chris Basset (2), Andy Haigh, Laurence Paull, Andy Clowes, Jon Moses and Jamie Hulme.
Adam Cottier made four conversions and also scored a penalty.