UTTOXETER edged an underwhelming clash at home to Eccleshall to stay sixth in Midlands Three West (North).
James Gill’s late try earned the hosts victory after their opponents had equalised with 10 minutes left in a close encounter.
The Town started excellently and for the first 20 minutes, Eccleshall barely got into their half.
Uttoxeter opened the scoring from a line-out, from which a driving maul was set up and Milward broke from the back, Dave Chell picked and was brought down before Jake Cabrera picked and went again. Eccleshall were unable to get organised fast enough and Cabrera was able to worm his way through to touch down.
A minute later, Uttoxeter added their second try.
They were awarded a penalty just inside Eccleshall’s 22 in the centre of the pitch, from where Milward tapped and popped to No 8 Pete Allen.
He was brought down 10 metres from the line and another quick move from the pack ensured Eccleshall were sucked in. Milward spun out and the ball went through hands to full-back Ben Gallimore, who cut in on an angle and sliced through a gap to dive over the line, giving Uttoxeter a 10-0 lead after 22 minutes.
Uttoxeter made another break shortly afterwards, as Tom Sherrat weaved through Eccleshall’s line from just outside his own 22 and released Gallimore, who stormed up the left flank. He looked for support but could not get the pass to hand and Ecclehall regrouped.
They scored the first time they entered Uttoxeter’s 22 as they set up a driving maul at the line-out, controlled it excellently and with Uttoxeter sucked in to prevent the drive, spun blind and crashed over the line.
Just before half-time Eccleshall narrowed the deficit to two points as they knocked over a penalty.
Ten minutes into the second half, Milward kicked a penalty to give Town a 13-8 lead before Eccleshall had a player sin-binned.
Milward had two further opportunities to extend the lead with two relatively easy chances, but his penalties in the 64th and 68th minute both drifted wide in difficult, windy conditions.
Uttoxeter’s Gallimore was then sin-binned for a high tackle following an Eccleshall break, and the visitors then drew level with a dubious try with 10 minutes left to play.
Eccleshall were awarded a penalty inside Uttoxeter’s 22, they took the quick tap and after a few quick phases their No 8 crashed over the line, despite Uttoxeter claiming a knock on.
The hosts struck back with five minutes to go after Eccleshall conceded a penalty just inside thier own 22.
Milward took a quick tap and spotted winger Gill hugging the touch-line. He drew a defender before spinning a flat pass out wide for Gill to latch onto and fly over the line in the left corner, giving Uttoxeter a 18-13 lead with four minutes left to play.
Eccleshall still pushed to snatch the win, only for a knock on to end their final attack.