Express & Star

Second-half shocker sees Walsall lose to strugglers

Walsall dropped out of the Regional Two Midlands North top six after a 39-24 defeat at home to relegation-threatened Mellish.


Having lost their previous two games against first and third in the league, a game against 10th-placed Mellish should have been welcomed by the hosts.

And Walsall started the game on the front foot, with Dan Carpenter crossing the try line after good work from Neil Holden, Rob Angell and Ben Pitt.

Scrum-half Mitch Carless added the conversion before kicking a penalty to extend the hosts’ lead to 10 points after 15 minutes.

Mellish hit back with a try of their own before Carpenter’s mazy 40-yard run saw him evade several tackles on his way to diving over the tryline for his second of the game, followed by another Carless conversion.

However, a disastrous second half saw Walsall concede 27 points and only score through Callum Hoy’s late consolation try. Hoy’s score earned Walsall a bonus point, but it was not enough to prevent them from losing their fourth game in a row at Delves Road.

Elsewhere in the division, league leaders Lichfield continued their title charge with a convincing 67-24 win at Newark, while Wolverhampton were beaten 29-5 at home to Tamworth.

In National Two West, Dudley Kingswinford continued their slump towards relegation with another defeat, going down 38-19 at home to Exeter University.

The visitors scored three converted tries before Nicholas Selway got DK on the board with a try that was converted by Theodore Mannion.

Shortly after half-time, the pair repeated the feat as Selway crossed the tryline and Mannion kicked the conversion to give the hosts hope.

However, two more tries and a penalty for Exeter University took the lead beyond reach, despite Leo Jowett’s late consolation try for DK.

In Regional One Midlands, Stourbridge strengthened their grip on second place with a 60-10 win over Stoke-on-Trent, and Old Halesonians lost 45-22 to Derby.

Kidderminster scored eight tries on their way to thrashing bottom-of-the-league Harborne 50-26 in Counties One West (North).

Thomas Dalton (two), Henry Reid (two), Jack Dayus, Morgan Maxwell, William Fallows and Henry Humphrey all netted tries for the hosts, while Christopher Pinner (four) and Thomas Dalton (one) added conversions.

Tries from Adam Greaves and Gareth Ley were not enough for Stafford as they lost 27-12 at Telford Hornets, while Burntwood won 49-39 against Camp Hill.

In Counties Two West (West), Handsworth beat Rugeley 41-19, Willenhall thrashed Market Drayton 71-14 and Stourbridge Lions lost 37-33 at Bridgnorth Bulls.

Walsall II won 20-5 at Woodrush in Counties Two West (East).

Cannock won 26-22 against Eccleshall in Counties Three West (North), while Stone beat Aldridge 26-12.

In Counties Four West (North), Wednesbury hammered Erdington 43-0, Bloxwich beat Linley 43-10, Burntwood II won 21-3 at Whittington, Essington lost 51-12 at Stoke-on-Trent II and St Leonards were beaten 26-12 at Burton III. And in Counties Four West (South), Stourport beat Evesham II 40-31, Warley defeated Redditch 29-8 and Old Halesonians II were thrashed 48-0 at Bishop Castle & Onny Valley.