A REJUVENATED Kidderminster Carolians inflicted Aston Old Edwardians' first home Midlands Three West (North) defeat with a superb 23-17 victory.

The result made up for KCs losing 14-33 at home in September but this is a different team.

Gone is the long injury list, even though late changes had to be made on Saturday.

The return of second row forwards Simon Wilks, and Matt Bennett, together with stand-off Andy Stooksbury, has brought stability to the team.

Prop Lee Southerton has enjoyed five wins out of six games filling in for captain Adrian Taft.

And Southerton felt Saturday's first half was by far KCs' best show of the season.

Aston are always a hard side to beat and although KCs started well, the home side scored first.

Experienced scrum-half Garry Street kicked a penalty in the early minutes but in the 10th it looked as if Kcs would reply.

Ambro Neri broke from his own half and went some 30 yards before being stopped. But within a minute, they were level from a Stooksbury penalty.

Street hit the post with a penalty kick and although KCs spent a lot of time defending, they looked the better side.

They took the lead in the 23rd minute with a move from the middle of the pitch. The ball was sent into the Aston 22 and Andy McLellan went over for the try which Stooksbury converted.

Their pack was in tremendous form with Mark Cleeton working harder than most and KCs scored again in injury-time.

Inter-passing between Ross Baxter, Dan Quinn and McLellan fell to leading try-scorer Neri and he made no mistake.

Stooksbury converted to give them a well-deserved 17-3 lead.

With the advantage of the slope and a slight wind, it was hoped KCs would go to town in the second half but it took until the last quarter to regain control.

Aston drew level through Neil Bradley's try after a mistake and then a good move finished off by Andy Wood, both converted by Street.

However, KCs recovered well and won a penalty two minutes later. Stooksbury was on target.

A physical game could have done with more authoritative refereeing in the last quarter.

The referee played 12 minutes extra and Stooksbury slotted over a late penalty to give KCs two valuable points.

With Leek losing at Birmingham Exiles, they are just one point ahead of KCs.

There is some incentive to pass the Staffordshire side in the league and finish mid-table.

KCs visit Telford on Saturday, knowing their opposition have been unlucky in several games.

KCs 2nds 88

Birmingham Exiles 10

In-form KCs gave Kidderminster Carolians 2nd XV Cup holders Exiles no chance in this year's competition.

The home side were 47-10 up by half-time with tries from Dave Horne (two), Andy Webber (two) Dan Quinn, Andy Halkon and Ian Doidge.

Tom Oakes converted six of the tries, while Exiles scored two unconverted tries.

Martyn Wright scored a hat-trick in the second half and Webber and Horne completed theirs.

There were further tries from Quinn and Doidge and both added conversions along with Oakes.

KCs meet Veseyans in the sem-finals on Sunday, April 1.

Aston Old Eds 26 KCs 3rds 17

Newcomer Brendan Wilson scored two tries but KCs had a tough battle after losing their hooker on 10 minutes.

Martin Wright added another and kicked one conversion along with Ken Bickley.

Fixtures, Saturday: Telford v KCs, 1sts and 3rds away, 2nds home.

Fixtures, Sunday: Old Halesonians v Cleobury Mortimer, Aston Old Eds v Pershore (KCs 2nd XV Cup, Marlpool Lane, 2pm).

Sutton Coldfield 19

KCs U-17s 12

KCs attacked to the end but could not prevent defeat at the weekend.

Sutton went ahead with a converted try but KCs drew level as James Stanley jinked through the defence to score and Tom Scandrett added the extra points.

In the second half, two tries and a conversion for Sutton put them 19-7 ahead although an unconverted try by Ben Stanier pegged them back.