By Liam Moakes Tuesday 11 September 2012 Updated: 12/09 19:03
Pinley 13 Evesham 16
Midlands Three West (South)
NEW-LOOK Evesham began their league campaign with a tense victory against their Coventry hosts on Saturday.
The sides looked very evenly matched in the early stages and the breakthrough score arrived in unlikely circumstances.
Pinley were given a scrum on their own 5m line, but Evesham gave an almighty shove to win both the opposition ball and carry on over the line for Nathan Chambers to score the try. The conversion was missed and Pinley soon began their search for their first points.
From a lineout on Evesham's 22, the home side set up a driving maul that continued to gather pace towards the Evesham line.
Three metres out, however, the maul was stopped and it broke apart, forcing Evesham into some scramble defence. Scramble they did as Pinley were stopped from crossing the whitewash, giving Evesham a penalty as they tried.
Evesham cleared upfield and the danger passed, but Evesham continued to apply pressure as the centre partnership of Sam Huckvale and Carl Robinson made breaks through the Pinley defence.
It was through one of these breaks that young winger Zac Reid - making his debut for the first team - was able to take the pass and round his man to score to give the Vale side a 10-0 lead, although the extras were again missed.
Pinley rallied well and finished the first half the stronger team with two penalties to show for their efforts as their arrears were reduced to 10-6.
The start of the second half should have been the time for Evesham to see off the opposition, yet it was Pinley that scored the first points.
A kick over the defence towards the corner flag took a horrific bounce - leaving full back Mike Diston flat-footed - and this allowed the Pinley player to leap over Diston to gather the ball and score. The conversion attempt was successful, leaving Evesham three points adrift.
The second half became a scrappy affair, with neither team really making much ground or creating clearcut scoring opportunities.
Pinley had more of the play, yet Evesham were able to move the ball quicker and could counter-attack more effectively, with Stefan Lasota out on the wing particularly effective.
Evesham got into the Pinley half and were able to draw level with a Diston penalty.
Evesham continued to work tirelessly in defence in an attempt to stop Pinley from gaining momentum and man of the match Ben Dzickaniece was particularly effective, both in the tight and out in the open.
Robinson and Huckvale were also putting in some big hits against the Pinley backline, making sure they never got going.
A few attempts at a penalty goal by Pinley were unsuccessful and it was Evesham that got points on the board next as another scrum went the way of Evesham when Pinley's loose head prop stood up under immense pressure from Evesham tight head Kerren Lippett.
The penalty was given and Diston converted to give Evesham the winning score.
Evesham will be happy with the way they played, especially the front row of Jack Maymon, Luke Matthews and Lippett who consistently won opposition ball.
Evesham will hope for a winning start on home soil tomorrow when they entertain Cheltenham North.
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