DEPLETED Upton-upon-Severn suffered a 46-12 defeat under the lights at Ledbury on Friday night in a Midlands Three West (South) clash.
Upton travelled to the Herefordshire side without captain Max Macfarlane and vice-captain James Gammon while full back Dan Aldersey and second row James Phipps were also unavailable.
Coach Ben Hughes continued to use his policy of train to play and this meant some other notable players missed out.
The first 20 minutes saw Upton hardly touch the ball and Ledbury had secured a bonus point within that time, crossing the line for four tries.
To Upton’s credit their scrum and line-out held up well but every time the hosts got the ball they caused damage.
A fifth try came before half time but the visitors did get on the scoreboard with their first meaningful attack when prop Dave Humphreys made a break down the wing and managed to off load out the back of the hand to Joe Ayres who sped up the wing to score.
With the half time score 34-5, Upton knew the game was gone.
Hughes asked for some heart in the second half and that’s certainly what he got.
Upton’s defence was much more forceful with Matt Dunwell and Rich Clive putting in some great hits and Joe Pantling starting to control the team from fly half.
Ledbury still won the half two tries to one but Upton played far better and were rewarded with a try for Clive when he buried himself over the line after Ayres and Humphreys had once again combined to go close.
Rob Heeley converted this one to give Upton another consolation.