18/05/14 by Paul Bolton
|North Midlands face a County Championship Bill Beaumont Cup First Division relegation decider against Gloucestershire at Bromsgrove next Saturday after they were beaten 54-20 by Hertfordshire at Old Albanians.The defeat followed a heavy reverse against Cornwall last week but Gloucestershire also went down to their second successive defeat yesterday, losing 33-27 to Cornwall.
Those results mean that the losers of the match at Bromsgrove on May 24 will be relegated to the second tier of the competition next season.
Despite the defeat North Midlands head coach Dan Protherough was encouraged by the efforts of his team.
“We played quite well at times and the pleasing thing is that we were much more competitive this week than we were against Cornwall,” Protherough said.
“We showed a lot of heart and played with a lot of energy and hopefully we can build on this performance against Gloucestershire in what is now a crunch match for both counties.”
Stourbridge centre Stefan Shillingford scored North Midlands’ opening try, a charged-down effort, which Bournville fly-half Alex Warner improved.
Birmingham & Solihull prop Stefan Thorp went over for the second try just before half time and Warner added a penalty which reduced the gap.
North Midlands could overturn Hertfordshire’s growing lead in the second half but replacement Rod Petty (Birmingham & Solihull) crossed for a consolation try to reward them for an improved display.
County face relegation decider
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