UPTON'S quest for North Midlands One points started in good fashion for after 30 minutes they were ten points up and dictating the play.


The scoring opened after 10 minutes when Matt Bookham won the lineout on the halfway and Upton spun out the ball to the backs. Left winger Neil Caldwell cut back inside and then passed out to Chris Jenkins who had gone round ready for the loop pass. Jenkins rounded the winger on the 10 metre line and raced on towards the 22 line where the full back was the last line of defence. With a neat chip over the full back, Jenkins ran on to follow the ball and beat the fast recovering winger to score a try which skipper Rob Heeley converted 7-0.

From the restart Upton drove back into the O'Griff's half where they retained the ball with the forwards in total control at lineouts, rucks and mauls. After 15 minutes the ball was fed back to Heeley who was successful with a drop kick from 30 metres out.

For the next 15 minutes Upton were camped in the Griffs half and came to scoring on a number of occasions only to be denied by strong defence work.

Upton's forwards were still in command and after a rolling maul Jerry Wheeler touched down on the blind side of the referee. Before the ref could get to grips with the situation, Griffs retrieved the ball and cleared it down field, so denying Upton another five points. Upton's heads dropped and from the resulting lineout Upton lost the ball and prop Jones was on hand to finish off a move, following a forward drive, over for Griffs first score 10-5.

Griffs now had their head's up especially having denied an Upton score and stepped up the pressure with their backs stretching Upton's defence. Just on half time Griffs right wing Palmer jinked his way over the line. James Malin added the conversion to take the lead 10-12.

The second half restarted with Upton's forwards again in control and driving forward to make big yardage. Griffs showed their experience by biding their time, waiting for a slip and then counter attacking.

They increased their lead after 50 minutes when they won a lineout on halfway and spun the ball out quickly to centre Paul Malin who spotted a gap in Upton's backs. He went through it like lightning to score under the posts, where brother James Malin added the conversion for 10-19.

Despite possession and territorial advantage Upton could not claim any more scores as Griffs just sat back and soaked up the pressure before clearing downfield.

With Bromyard now bottom of the table and the next league visitors to Upton on January 31, an intense battle is expected between these two local teams