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Home > News > North Midlands Under 18s off to winning start
Your News North Midlands Under 18s off to winning start

NORTH Midlands began their defence of the Midlands Under-18 Championship with an entertaining and hard-fought 33-24 win over spirited Warwickshire at Stratfords Pearcecroft ground today.

North Midlands included a string contingent from last seasons successful Under-16 side including left wing Colin Dickson (Ellesmere College and Shrewsbury) who was capped by England Under-16s in the wins against Italy Under-17s and Wales Under-16s in April.

But they were pushed all the way by Warwickshire with a late breakaway try from lock Ed Taylor (Old Swinford Hospital School) proving the difference between the sides.

Warwickshire proved tenacious opponents and were as dangerous in attack as North Midlands were and they breached the visitors defence four times in a free-flowing contest played in perfect conditions.

North Midlands took an early lead when openside flanker Harry Nuttall (Kings School Worcester) was driven over from a tenth minute line-out and full-back Max Stelling (Old Swinford Hospital School) added the conversion.

But Warwickshire responded with a well-taken try from full-back Jacob Knight (Rugby Lions) which helped to level the scores.

North Midlands regained the lead on the half hour when persistent pressure wore Warwickshire down and right wing Alex Rumsey (Worcester Sixth Form College) crossed on the overlap.

Stelling added the conversion and then crossed for the first of his two tries on the stroke of half time.

Warwickshire trimmed the deficit within five minutes of the re-start when right wing Liam ONeil (Wasps) showed his paces and scampered over for an unconverted try but Stelling again joined the line at speed to cancel out the score with North Midlands fourth try which was improved by replacement fly-half Elliott Davies (Bromsgrove School).

Rugby Lions wing Harry Ellis brought Warwickshire back into the match when he rounded off an excellent short side move but Taylor capitalised when Warwickshire tried to attack from defence and he galloped away to score the winning try which Davies converted.

Warwickshire had the last word though with replacement Ben Davies of Bablake School exploiting more weak tackling by North Midlands for the final try.

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