Greater Birmingham booked their place in the final of the Iskitz Three Counties Championship with a 29-22 victory over Shropshire at Telford Hornets’ Town Park this evening.
Greater Birmingham will now meet Worcestershire & Herefordshire, the defending champions, in a re-match of last season’s final at Ledbury on May 20.
Having suffered narrow defeats to W&H in their opening group matches, both counties knew that they had to win tonight’s game to progress to the final.
Two second half tries from Sutton Coldfield wing Chris Duckworth and a penalty from his club-mate, fly-half Ben Morgan, proved decisive in another tight and keenly-contested match.
Despite being forced to make seven changes through injury and unavailability, Greater Birmingham settled quickly with Camp Hill prop Ryan Large and Old Saltleians scrum-half Tom Lee giving them the initiative. Full-back Kai Lucas-Dumolo (camp Hill) landed three conversions.
Greater Birmingham led 14-5 at the break but Shropshire levelled at 17-17 midway through the second half before Duckworth’s late brace of tries sealed the win.
Shropshire also scored four tries through Newport scrum-half Rhys Harrhy, centre Dave Hartshorne (Newport), replacement fly-half John Keary (Newport) and Shrewsbury flanker Liam Deery. Harrhy converted one of the three second half tries.
The Iskitz Three Counties Championship is contested annually by the three Domestic Unions of the North Midlands and provides county representative rugby for players outside the National Leagues.
Iskitz, the Malvern-based international kit suppliers, are generously sponsoring the competition for a fourth season.