24/05/14 by Paul Bolton
North Midlands were relegated back to the Second Division of the County Championship Bill Beaumont Cup after they were beaten 45-19 by Gloucestershire at Bromsgrove’s Finstall Park ground today.
North Midlands knew that only a win would keep them in the top flight of the competition but the early encouragement of a 12-0 lead soon disappeared against a powerful Gloucestershire side who had run Cornwall close the previous week.
Stourbridge prop Mark George and Luctonians wing Adam Knight crossed for early tries for North Midlands and fly-half Tom Jones (Luctonians) added a conversion.
But Gloucestershire were soon level and once they took the lead the result was never in doubt. A try from Rod Petty (Birmingham & Solihull) which Jones improved briefly slowed Gloucestershire’s progress.
“It was always going to be a tough campaign for us. If you look at the three counties on our group they all have a strong tradition of county rugby and they were picking from players in National One and National Two,” said North Midlands head coach Dan Protherough.
“We introduced a lot of young players this season who were playing against players from a higher level than were used to playing against and hopefully that experience will stand them in good stead for future seasons.”