By Liam Moakes 16/04 Updated: 24/04 14:20
Pershore 19 Kidderminster 21
Midlands Two West (South)
PERSHORE'S relegation was confirmed on Saturday as they suffered a dramatic defeat against fellow strugglers Kidderminster at Piddle Park in a match in which the referee had an overwhelming say on proceedings.
Pershore led after 20 minutes when forwards and backs combined to create a gap for winger Stefan Ellis to score an unconverted try, but it was the visitors who went into half time in the lead after a penalty and converted try.
In the second half the Pershore forwards began to take control of the game and the areas of the pitch the contest was played in.
A converted try by Martin Hope meant Pershore regained the lead, only to relinquish it a few minutes later when Andy McLellan converted a penalty.
At 13-12 to the visitors Pershore were again camped on the KCs' line but, despite apparent persistent infringements by the visiting defence, the referee did not think a yellow card was necessary, indeed he only sin-binned Pershore hooker Ben Humphries for entering a ruck dangerously.
This was a real kick in the teeth for Pershore but it was the first of a sequence of strange decisions which went against them.
Hope did manage to squeeze over for his second converted try and it looked like Pershore would go on and win but unfortunately for the home team Kidderminster struck with just five minutes left.
Even this score was controversial, as the referee missed an obvious knock-on in the last phase of play before McLellan went over for an unconverted try.
With Pershore still a point up, all they needed to do was run the clock down and from a lineout they drove the ball, the maul was pulled down and yet another infringement went unpunished.
Kidderminster turned the ball over and managed to attack towards the Pershore posts. At the breakdown, Pershore were deemed to be offside and the referee gave an easy penalty under the posts which McLellan made no mistake with.
The kick guaranteed both safety for Kidderminster and relegation for Pershore.
The Piddle Park outfit are again at home tomorrow in their final game of the campaign when they entertain champions Barkers Butts.
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