Superior Fitness Gives Pats The Edge

LD Patesians’ second-half revival was mainly due to their superior fitness and allowed them to scrape to victory in National Three South West.

Injuries and unavailabilities meant Pats had to rejig their front row and introduce teenager George Knowles to make his league debut at tight-head prop.

Pats lost the first scrum on their own feed just a few metres from their line. Wanderers shovelled the stolen ball across their backs and right wing Chris Jenkinson scored in his corner.

Blindside flanker Kai Blankley and right wing Joe Ballinger were Pats’ main chasers in the first quarter and when they caught Wanderers full-back in possession he failed to release and Stu Taylor hoofed over a penalty goal.

Makeshift fly-half Matt Dean, playing his penultimate game for Pats before he moves to Scotland, was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on and Wanderers fly-half Paul Burton slotted the resulting penalty.

Pats levelled the scores at 8-8 before the break when Craig Ballinger dived over for a try.

Pats made the worst possible start to the second half when their kick-off was too deep and it led to Wanderers full-back Mike Dodge racing in for a try converted by Burton.

Pats cranked up the tempo and scored a try through Mudway converted by Taylor.

Pats took the lead for the first time in the match when James Aherne cut inside for a try and Taylor added the conversion.

As the match entered the final quarter Taylor banged over two more penalty goals as the Wanderers’ discipline began to collapse.

Pats just about deserved the win but they will need to sharpen up in several areas if they are to climb the table.

Worcester Wanderers: M Dodge, C Jenkinson, B Prince, O Meadows, E Whitehead, P Burton, O Burton, T Drew, R Marslandm G Owens, C Flanders, A Reid, C Griffiths, T Richmond, J Saddington. Replacements (all used on interchange ruling): D Whiting, T Dodge, M Marshall.

Old Patesians: J Aherne, J Ballinger, S Taylor, B Parker, T Callow, M Dean, M Mudway, G Knowles, C Dean, R White, J Stickland, J Stevens, K Blankley, C Ballinger, J Pettigrew. Replacements (all used on interchange ruling): S Brown, J Barker, B Spry.

Referee: C Bennett (Somerset Society)