17th Nov, 2019

Rudland hails Ledbury's battling display

Malvern Editorial 7th Feb, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

LEDBURY head coach Paul Rudland has praised his players’ endeavour as they battled through atrocious conditions to claim a 19-13 victory over Shipston on Stour.

The match at Ross Road looked set to join the long list of Midlands Three West (South) fixtures to be postponed on Saturday as rain battered the region.

But following a morning inspection the pitch was deemed playable and third-placed Ledbury made sure they did not waste the opportunity to heap pressure on their promotion rivals.

Tries from Jock Welch and John Watkins as well as solid kicking from George Bennion steered the Herefordshire outfit to a hard-fought win over their power-packed opponents, which delighted Rudland.

“The weather certainly played into Shipston’s hands as they had a big strong pack and it meant that we could not get our backs going and create any flowing moves,” Rudland said.

“It did not suit our game at all, but we came away with the win and that’s all that matters.

“I was really pleased with how the lads dealt with it as we are not the biggest side, but we made up for that with our endeavour and our will to keep going right until the end.”

The Ledbury boss admitted their agonising 23-22 defeat at home to Cheltenham North two weeks ago was a “massive blow” as they aim to challenge for top spot.

But after picking up back to back wins over Evesham and Shipston, Rudland believes their push for promotion is firmly back on track.

“Had we won that game against Cheltenham then we would be even better off, but there are still a lot of league games left to go,” he added.

“We have yet to play the two teams above us – Pinley and Old Yardleians – away from home and I believe we will have nothing to lose going into those. We said it was going to be a tough year and compared to last year we are already miles ahead of ourselves.

“We have got Kings Norton next week and we will just try to keep our run going.”

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