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Match report: Lichfield RUFC 22 Worcester Wanderers 29

Lichfield took to the field against Worcester looking to build on the big win over Ludlow the week before.

Paul Finnemore returned in place of the injured Derrick Squire, Paul Maxwell-Keys was recalled at 15, and an injury to Tom Adams forced a positional change with Josh Massey switching to 12.

The home side were quicker out the blocks and deservedly secured an early lead, with the right winger crossing out wide in the 11th minute. Playing to a new system, the greens struggled for fluidity early on, but two penalties from the boot of Josh Massey saw them sneak into a 6-5 lead after the first quarter.

Despite playing some exciting rugby, Lichfield failed to capitalise on attacking opportunities they created and started to give away too many penalties at the break down.

As a result, Worcester started to gain the upper hand, and the rest of the half really belonged to the hosts. They were perhaps unfortunate to add just two more tries before the break, as Lichfield stood pretty firm under a barrage of pressure. Richard Burton and Paul Finnemore in particular stood out among a determined pack of forwards.

Starting out in the second half 19-6 down, the visitors knew they needed to strike first, and they did just that via a third successful Massey penalty. They were just starting to click into gear, moving their opponents left and right with real purpose.

Despite conceding a penalty to trail by 13, a fine individual try by Greg Massey brought them right back into contention at 14-22.

And just seven minutes later, Chris Upton was on the end of a great team move to finish another try out wide.

Just three points behind and chasing the game, Lichfield started to run the ball from all areas of the pitch. Positive tactics had largely paid off throughout the game, but after being turned over just outside their 22, Worcester inflicted the killer blow on 69 minutes.

Falling 29-19 behind, Lichfield were in danger of taking no points away from a positive display. Fortunately, their persistence and refusal to give in ultimately brought the consolation point they deserved. Neil Antcliffe stepped up coolly to convert the hard earned penalty chance with the last action of the game.

On Saturday (December 17) Lichfield entertain high-flying Sutton at Cooke Fields, kick off at 2.15pm.

Lichfield: Sowden, Gabbitass, Bassett (c), Thompson, Finnemore, Paulson, Milner, Burton; Smith, Antcliffe, Rowlands, J Massey, G Massey, Brown and Maxwell-Keys. Subs: A Clarke, Upton and Haber.

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