North Midlands Under-18s ended their short representative season with a 31-27 defeat by Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire in today’s Super Sunday tournament at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry.
North Midlands rallied well after being 19-0 down at half-time but their second half fightback came too late to deny NLD their win.
After their lacklustre first half display North Midlands rejigged their side for the second half with Ben Shimwell (King’s Worcester and Ledbury) coming into the back row to lead the pack and the changes had the desired impact.
Charlie Grimes (Lucton School and Luctonians), who switched from scrum-half to the wing, began the fightback when he followed up a box kick from replacement scrum-half Jack Davies (Ellesmere College) and shrugged off a couple of tackles to score in the corner.
Fly-half Joe Hunt(Bromsgrove School and Luctonians) added the conversion from close to the touchline and then added an excellent drop goal which rewarded North Midlands for another period of sustained pressure.
The fightback was checked when NLD scored an interception try after North Midlands attempted to attack but the lead was reduced to two points after centre Bryn Goodall (Hereford Sixth Form College and Hereford) picked a clever angle to split the NLD defence, and Davies crossed from close range.
A kick-and-chase try from NLD decided the game but North Midlands stuck to their task despite losing powerhouse prop Charlie Hill (Bromsgrove School and Telford Hornets).
Hunt capped a fine individual match by chasing his own grubber kick for the final score of a competitive contest.
The Midlands selectors will assemble for a grading meeting on November 18 which is the next stage in the selection process for this season’s England Counties Under-18s side.