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Thursday 20 September 2012 Updated: 20/09 16:34
Bromsgrove 39 Caldy 23
BROMSGROVE bounced back to National Two North winning ways in fine style at Finstall Park on Saturday.
Caldy, who finished runners-up last season, arrived in confident mood but they met a home side who, smarting from the previous weeks defeat at Luctonians, started with great pace and quickly established a ten point lead.
Fly-half and captain Jonathan Critchlow opened the scoring by slotting over a penalty before converting a try from centre James Lloyd Jones who exploited a defensive error following a long kick down field.
Caldy responded with three penalties in quick succession from fly half and former Moseley place kicker Richard Vasey.
The pace increased before the interval featuring much enterprise, some errors and great defensive tackling on a hard pitch from all players.
Bromsgrove’s new scrum-half David Brazier made excellent box kicks under pressure with sure passes out, while back row forwards Chris McGregor, David Hughes and No 8 Phil Horton frequently made the yards over the gain line.
The next score came from a short kick on and catch by full back Aaron Higgins, passing along the line for a try by prop Paul Norris. The conversion bounced back from the post.
Caldy centre Josiah Dickenson made a quick response running hard through the defence for a try under the posts which was converted to give the visitors a brief lead.
Bromsgrove’s scrummaging and lineouts were going well and, from a powered drive, with close backs’ support, hooker Luigi (Gino) Belmonte off-loaded a pass to Critchlow who touched down under the posts and added the conversion to secure a 22-16 interval lead.
Soon after the restart, Bromsgrove were penalised but Vasey’s kick failed.
Returning to the attack, Bromsgrove extended their lead from a well worked backs’ move with Critchlow making ground and passing to debutant centre Charles Jones who scired a converted try under posts just before injury caused him to be replaced by another newcomer Ben Palmer.
Bromsgrove were conceding too many penalties and making lineout errors. Ten metres were conceded for querying a referee’s decision before Caldy prop Derek Salisbury made an unstoppable charge for the line to claim a converted try.
Caldy went close when left winger Mathew van Sertima, sprinting from halfway, put a foot over the side line before a touch down in the corner.
But Bromsgrove upped the tempo and, having successfully defended a determined driving maul, surged upfield and centre Palmer scored a try which Critchlow converted to take his points match tally to 18.
The bonus point victory will give Bromsgrove plenty of confidence and two wins from the opening three fixtures is more than acceptable.
More wins away from fortress Finstall Park to supplement last season’s best league home record is the challenge - starting at Otley tomorrow (Saturday).
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