KIDDERMINSTER Carolians produced their best performance of the season and came close to springing a surprise before going down 29-13 to high-flying Camp Hill.

The Birmingham based visitors arrived at Marlpool Lane as joint leaders of Mids Three West North and were quick to snap up any openings that were going.

In the first 10 minutes KCs nearly scored, but following a bad defensive blunder the visitors went 7-0 up with a try from Mark Chetland converted by Liam Morrisey.

On 15 minutes Kidderminster stand-off Greg Fincher kicked a penalty, only for Camp Hill to double their points 12 minutes later when Morrisey converted Mike Hoare's try.

KCs were battling hard and were rewarded for some good forward play when Nathan Small crashed over to make it 8-14. Fincher's conversion fell just short.

Nearing half time Camp Hill scored twice. Simon Edwards added their third try and Morrisey kicked a penalty to turn round 22-8 in front.

Although KCs had played well without luck, it was easy to see why Camp Hill have been at the top end all season.

The new half was only minutes old when a very poor pass by Kidderminster was intercepted and Edwards ran half the length of the field unchallenged to score under the posts. Morrisey had no difficulty with the conversion.

For most of the second half KCs lived in the Camp Hill half and played some good rugby, but their only reward was a last minute try for Nathan Small.

With Telford, Wednesbury and Willenhall losing, KCs can still live in hope of survival.

Next week they travel to Willenhall (kick off 2.15pm) and a win would give them a lift. If they can repeat Saturday's performance and cut out the mistakes then two points could be in sight.

Coach Andy Stooksbury was pleased with the performance and hopes it would boost the team's confidence.

"The pack played well with a very big improvement in our line out work.

"Mark Whittard's throwing was excellent and we were able to compete.

"Lee Southerton gave us more stability and Bruce Hodges tackled well.

"Nathan Small score two good tries. The half back pairing of Greg Fincher and Leon Toms produced some good rugby and deserved more points than we got.

"It was a welcome return to first team duty for second row forward Matt Bennett after a long lay-off. Once match-fit he will be a great asset

"Altogether it was a performance that gives us hope of retaining our place in the division."

KC's seconds were in free-scoring mood against under-strength Pershore, running in 11 tries en-route to a crushing 67-0 win.

Tom Scandrett scored a hat-trick, while there were braces from Andy Webber and Iain Crockett, who also kicked six conversions.

Also on the mark were Mark Cleaton, Tom Maher, Dave Betson and Russ Slater.

The thirds suffered a 17-13 defeat at the hands of Pershore with tries from Alex Hinds and Grant Stewart and a Ben Mannion penalty.

The seconds and the thirds host their Hereford counterparts at 2.15pm on Saturday.