Greater Birmingham won the Three Counties Championship for the first time since 2001 with a 28-5 win over defending champions Worcestershire & Herefordshire in tonight’s final at Shrewsbury.
The win ended W&H’s hopes of winning the competition for a fourth consecutive year and helped Greater Birmingham avenge defeat in a group match at Stourbridge three weeks ago.
This time W&H were hit by the unavailability of players from Malvern, Hereford, Kidderminster Carolians and Dudley Kingswinford which forced them to make wholesale changes to their side and although they battled away gamely they struggled to penetrate Greater Birmingham’s defence.
Greater Birmingham were made to work hard for their win and all that divided the sides after the opening 30 minutes were two early penalties from their fly-half Ben Morgan (Sutton Coldfield).
But the game swung decisively in Greater Birmingham’s favour in the last seven minutes of the first half when number eight Dom Woodcock (Old Saltleians) went over for the opening try.
Right on the stroke of half-time Greater Birmingham unleashed right wing Tom Burrows Sutton Coldfield) and he outpaced the defence to open up an 18 points lead.
W&H had their moments in the first half but failed to convert their pressure into points but Bromsgrove loosehead prop Cam Simpson got them back into the match when went over from close range for his third try in two meetings with Greater Birmingham.
But that score was soon cancelled out by a close range effort from flanker Ethan Channer (Aston OE) and further sustained pressure produced a second try for Woodcock which ended Greater Birmingham’s long wait for a title.
The Three Counties Championship is contested annually by the three Domestic Unions that comprise North Midlands RFU and provides players from outside the National Leagues with the opportunity to play county rugby.