Shock victory over higher league opposition
RFU Midland Junior Vase
Aldridge 21 Rugby Welsh 27
Welsh produced another shock in the Midland Junior Vase, again defeating higher league opposition, to reach the last eight with a fantastic team performance against a strong Aldridge outfit.
Playing with the elements in the first half Aldridge started strongly and with their powerful pack and good offloading game they were soon dominating possession and scored an early penalty.
The Welsh defence was put under pressure but they were up to the challenge and the pack more than held their own at the set pieces with experience hooker Pete Head performing superbly.
However midway through the half, from a quickly taken penalty the home side scored an unconverted try in the corner to increase their lead.
Welsh responded well and were unlucky not to score when, with the touchflags in the wrong position, Adam Bond was not awarded a try but from a resulting penalty Angus Wilson opened the Welsh scoring account. Shortly afterwards Wilson made a lovely midfield break from scrum half, linked up with Glenn Bond and Dean Mitchell who sent winger Anthony Reynolds in for an excellent unconverted try in the corner.
With the scores level Welsh were then hit by two significant injuries to Mitchell and the influential Andy Higham either side of half time. Aldridge continued to show good ball handling skills and regained the lead with a penalty and an unconverted interception try.
Being 16-8 down Welsh could have let their heads drop but they showed great resilience with replacement winger Alex, on his 18th birthday, defending well against a quick opposite number.
The experience of the Bond brothers, kicking and defending well, was crucial as Welsh refused to let Aldridge dominate proceedings. Two tries in a minute changed the game again as firstly second row Leigh Colledge burst through a gap on the 22 metre line to score an unconverted try and from the kick off Jack Taylor intercepted a pass well inside his own half and raced away to score under the posts for a try which Wilson converted.
Aldridge responded and retook the lead with just over 10 minutes left when their powerful forward runners created another unconverted try. Welsh were now one point behind but the whole team’s commitment was immense and their efforts were rewarded in the dying seconds of the game.
Glenn Bond spotted a gap behind the midfield defence and chipped the ball through which Jack Taylor gathered well and although tackled short of the line, captain Adam Bond showed great strength to force his way over from the resulting ruck to score the winning try. Wilson added the extra points with the last kick of the game to seal a remarkable victory. The good sized travelling support were immensely proud of the performance as Welsh continue to defy the odds and remain the lowest ranked side left in the competition.
This week Welsh return to league action when they travel to Trinity Guild.