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Lichfield RUFC 16 Worcester Wanderers 11

Lichfield RUFC will face Melton Mowbray in the Midlands Intermediate Cup Final after beating Worcester Wanderers.

The win also means that the Myrtle Greens are now at the quarter-final stage of the National competition. The game against Melton Mowbray will take place at Lichfield on a date to be confirmed over the Easter weekend.

The hosts went into their first ever Midlands Intermediate Cup semi final expecting to meet a quality side, but a fixture against the leaders of Midlands 2 West South gave the fixture extra spice.

Conditions were perfect for an open game and Worcester soon made their intentions clear playing with pace, precision and attempting to off load out of contact to maximum effect.

It was Worcester who scored first with a well worked try in the eighth minute for a 5-0 lead, but true to form Lichfield refused to panic and were soon back in the game with a sweetly struck penalty by Greg Massey to make it 5-3 after 13 minutes.

Worcester then had a penalty of their own to open up the lead to 8-3 and the game ebbed and flowed with both sides showing their commitment to play attractive rugby, only excellent defence from both teams keeping the scores down.

The tight five of Bassett, Knibbs, Gabbitass, Squire and Hicks were gaining ascendancy in the tight. The back row of Thompson, Burton and Smith were embroiled in a great battle with the Worcester back row at the breakdown and the Lichfield midfield of Luke and Greg Massey along with Tom Adams were enjoying the contest against a talented opposition.

Just before half time Lichfield struck with a well taken try from Greg Massey who went over wide out after a strong run from Tom Addams generating quick ball which Lichfield exploited well. Both teams went into half time level at 8-8 and the game was far too close to call at this stage.

Worcester struck first in the second half with a penalty to restore their lead to 11-8. Sporcic, Brear and Brown whilst not having too much possession looked threatening every time they touched the ball and their kick chase was always pressurising the Worcester defence.

Upton replaced the hard working Squire and had an immediate impact offering Lichfield a fresh dynamism.

As the half wore on Lichfield were taking control and in the 62nd minute, Lichfield were given advantage after a Worcester infringement. Butler, who had a fine game at scrum half, was about to sweep the ball away for certain try, but was impeded at the breakdown and Lichfield had to settle for a penalty from Massey to bring them level at 11-11.

In the 68th minute Lichfield made no mistake, generating quick ball at the breakdowns and going through several phases before exploiting a huge overlap for Brear to go over putting Lichfield ahead 16-11.

Luke Massey controlled the last ten minutes well. Conditions were worsening and some astute tactical kicking and aggressive team defence kept Worcester in the right areas of the field and becoming frustrated with their lack of penetration.

Indeed it was Lichfield who had the chance to make the game safe with five minutes to go but Greg Massey lost his footing as he struck the penalty to see it sail agonisingly wide.

Lichfield were not to be denied however and played out the final minutes showing huge composure and confidence to take a well earned victory against fine opponents.

This Saturday (March 6) the Myrtle Greens travel to Ludlow – who are still harbouring hopes of promotion – in what is always a tough fixture against committed opponents.

Lichfield: Knibbs, Gabbitass, Bassett (c), Hicks, Squire, Burton, Smith, Thompson; Butler, L Massey, Sporcic, Adams, G Massey, Brown and Brear. Subs: Birnie, Axton, Upton and Rose.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.