Dudley Kingswinford down title rivals to go seven points clear
Dudley Kingswinford moved clear in the race for the Midlands One West title after they overcame one of their chief rivals – while another faltered.
DK edged out third-placed Stoke-on-Trent 15-8 to take full advantage of second-placed Kenilworth’s 13-8 defeat at Newbold-onAvon.
And that has given DK a seven-point advantage at the summit.
“Saturday panned out very much as we expected,” said coach Neil Shillingford. “It was tough fixture, on a heavy pitch, it was hard work, a very hard-fought game, but we got the result we wanted.
“It’s always a difficult game away at Stoke – the conditions aren’t conducive to the sort of game that we want to play.
“But we kept the scoreboard ticking over and we did what we had to do. In the end, we got the job done.
“We’ve got a week off now, which gives us a chance to rest a few bodies. We’ll have a light session tonight and then the lads will have the weekend off before we go again the week after.”
DK had to recover from 5-0 behind, with Sam Vaughan and Tommy Walker making considerable progress before Stef Shillingford was able to break through to score.
Vaughan added a penalty to make it 8-5 just before half-time, which was turned into 15-5 after the interval when Pete Griffiths powered over, with Vaughan converting.
A late penalty gained Stoke a losing bonus point.
Meanwhile, fourth-placed Lichfield were 44-14 winners over Worcester, Stourbridge Lions defeated Droitwich 16-7 with tries from Chris Depper and Jess Smith, while rock-bottom Kidderminster lost 37-22 at Ludlow and Old Halesonians went down 34-0 against Hereford.
Stourbridge’s first team remain entrenched in mid-table in National Two North after slipping to a 20-17 home defeat against Sheffield Tigers, despite tries for Mark Harrison and Nigel Mukarati.
Wolverhampton put an unanswered half-century on Tamworth to go top of Midlands Two West (North) on points difference from Camp Hill. Fourth-placed Stafford edged out Walsall 29-25, becoming the first team to win a league game at Delves Road this season.
The match went back and forth between both sides, with Sam Egerton scoring two of Stafford’s tries, while Dan Mills and Callum Jones also touched down, with Christian Ureche also kicking nine points.
The boot of Roger Weston kept Walsall in touch, while Hal Gozukucuk (two) and Jack Evans crossed the whitewash.
Elsewhere, Burntwood overcame Shrewsbury 34-20.
In Midlands Three West (North), there were defeats for Eccleshall, Wednesbury, Willenhall and Walsall-based Handsworth.
Aldridge went top of Midlands Four West (North) with a 34-23 triumph over Market Drayton, but there were losses for Essington, Cannock and Warley.
Bloxwich edged out Five Ways Old Edwardians 31-29 in Midlands Five West (South), but Stourport lost 32-28 to Redditch.