Coventry Dunlop 13

Alcester 10

A LAST second slip cost Alcester a rare upset against promotion hopefuls Coventry in an evenly matched affair.

With Alcester just three points down at the game's death kicker Scott Carmichael stepped up to at least level the scores with a difficult penalty opportunity from wide but slipped at the vital moment and ball fell just short of the posts.

For Alcester the game was a continuation of their much-improved form before they take on Coventry Welsh at King's Coughton on Saturday.

At Dunlop after a couple of missed penalty opportunities from both teams the hosts took the lead just before the midway point of the half as Coventry's driving maul was too much for the Alcester men.

Alcester heads didn't drop and the visitors dominated the second quarter thanks to a regular flow of ball from line out jumpers Phil Birks and Andy Flynn.

Dunlop were forced into taking all means to prevent a score from the visitors, and with the official losing patience, a number of short range penalties were awarded to the visitors.

Alcester lock Dave Marriott took the ball on the charge from one, and when he was hauled down on the line, number eight Nick O'Connor picked up and dived over only for the referee to adjudge the ball to have been held up.

Undeterred, Alcester won the ball back again and forced Dunlop into conceding another close range penalty. Steve Lunn took the ball on the burst, ducked under one tackle, pirouetted in another and just managed to get the ball down over the line to level the scores. Carmichael converted to put his side in front for the first time.

Alceter's Nick O'Connor was sin binned soon after but the visitors finished the half with a flurry after Carmichael kicked over another penalty opportunity.

After the interval Alcester were forced into replacing try-scorer Lunn with Nev Teasdale and skipper Brett Allard with Darren Gwyllim and Dunlop didn't take long to reduce the five point gap with a penalty of their own.

The home side were now on top and despite a couple of good defensive challenges from O'Connor and Martin Sergeant, Coventry finally made an attack count as their left winger raced in to put Dunlop into the lead.