North Midlands missed out on a home tie in the quarter-finals of the National Under 20 Championship after they were beaten 40-31 by Eastern Counties in their final pool match at Shelford today.
Eastern Counties romped into a 40-0 lead after 48 minutes by scoring six unanswered tries but they then had to withstand a stirring fightback from North Midlands before they secured a home tie in the knockout stages.
The North Midlands fightback began when wing Isaac Parris (Harper Adams University) crossed after 50 minutes and fly-half Joe Hearle (Newport) added the conversion.
Number eight Adam Brackley, also from Harper Adams University) then crossed for a try that Hearle improved, soon followed by Veseyans’ lock Jack Ward.
Flanker Brad Cook (Bromsgrove) and lock John Kelly (Luctonians) both crossed for unconverted tries in the last ten minutes but North Midlands ran out of time in their attempt to avenge last season’s defeat by Eastern Counties at Dudley Kingswinford.