RUGELEY 1st XV showed their battling qualities in the Junior Vase at Tupton on Saturday, even though the result was disappointing in the end.
The visitors travelled to the Peak District and were involved in a very physical and demanding game of rugby, Early on, Rugeley put the home side under pressure with Williscroft, Homer and Flint all pushing forward with fearsome fire and determination, their push and set play was relentless.
This continued for a spell until Tupton, feeling a little dejected, suddenly snapped into life and in the tenth minute they were able to break free and scored a try under the visitors posts for a 7-0 lead.
A mistake by Rugeley centres gave the home side the chance for a penalty, 25 metres out, and Tupton kicked successfully to make it 10-0 on 15 minutes.
Rugeley appeared to lose a little of their enthusiasm for the game and a little dissent from within the visiting ranks gave the home side the opportunity to take control.
Once again, good handling led to Tupton running in a second converted score and they made it 24-0 after 22 minutes.
However it was at this stage that Rugeley began to hit back and Morrison touched down for a converted try. Rugeley were looking confident and with two minutes of the first half remaining, Rugeley centre Grocott took advantage of some space and score for the visitors to trail by ten points.
Seconds before the break, Tupton added an unconverted score for a 29-14 lead at the break.
Within ten minutes of the restart, Tupton had increased the lead by a further seven points, but still Rugeley were not down hearted. They piled on the pressure and some superb passing and set play by captain Williscroft led to Grocott passing the ball down the line of defence for Homer to score a converted try.
With only ten minutes left , Homer raced clear to score a further Rugeley try, converted by Grocitt and make it 36-28. While Rugeley sensed a possible victory, Tupton had other ideas and their scrum half got through to make it 43-28.
In the closing moments, replacement Reed ran in another Rugeley try, again converted by Grocott, but it was the Derbyshire side who progressed.
“The team were outstanding and they should all be very proud of themselves. I was really impressed with our support play and great open running rugby,” said coach Richard Simmons.