ST LEONARDS 1st XV continued their push for the Midlands 5 West (North) title with a well earned 20-0 win at Birmingham Barbarians.
The outcome enabled Saints to consolidate top spot and they are now five points clear of nearest rivals, Rugeley.
Saints found themselves up against a strong Barbarians side, who were exceptionally good in the scrums.
However, Saints took control of the line outs, winning almost all of them.
After early pressure from the home side, Saints kicked into touch, knowing they could win the line out. The ball made its way down through the backs, then back inside to Andy Keeling to dive over the line. Rich Farrow kicked the conversion for a 7-0 interval lead.
It was stalemate at the start of the second period, before some excellent running from Dave Plant, Si Evans and Andy Keeling gave Saints the boost they needed. This was very much the turning point of the match.
Will Redpath displayed fantastic decision making as he made a solo break down the wing, drawing the hosts’ defence out wide, cutting sharply back inside to ground the ball with 10 minutes left to play.
Moments later, Keeling found the ball at the back of a ruck, which was then passed down the back line for Craig Smith to ground, Farrow adding a further two points.
Scrum half Adam Fewtrell then sent a gift wrapped pass to Aaron Rogers who ran through an almost impossible gap between three Barbarian defenders, and again Farrow topped up the points tally with the conversion.
It was a fifth win in six for Saints, who are back in league action on November 17 when they entertain third place Essington.