DIRECTOR of rugby Niall Crawford praised his players’ “perseverance” as Worcester edged Droitwich 21-18 in a tense derby at Weston’s Fields.

Two Andy Reid tries and an 11-point haul from Ollie Meadows including a decisive late penalty secured Worcester their first win of the 2018-19 Midlands One West campaign.

Crawford was thrilled with the victory and delighted not to concede a try as all of Droitwich’s points came from the boot of Bobby Scott-Walker.

“It was a very hard-fought game and both sides were unable to exert any sustained periods of pressure,” he said.

“The lead kept changing hands but we just had enough composure at the end to sneak the win.

“From my point of view I was impressed with the perseverance.

“Whenever the score-line did change the players did not become despondent.

“They felt they had it in them to be able to get the required number of points to get the lead again.

“We were the ones who were able to cross the try-line and we were able to stop Droitwich from scoring any tries.

“We showed that our defence was sound but it was just the amount of penalties that we gave away that kept them in the game.”

Droitwich led 6-0 thanks to two Scott-Walker penalties before Meadows got Worcester off the mark with a three-pointer of his own.

Meadows then converted Reid’s opening try to move Worcester in front but Scott-Walker struck either side of half-time to edge his team back ahead at 12-10.

With 20 minutes left Reid crossed the whitewash again before Meadows fired home another three points.

Droitwich drew level at 18-18 courtesy of a brace of Scott-Walker penalties but Meadows held his nerve to score from the tee with five minutes remaining.

Crawford added: “It wasn’t the highest quality game but it was a game that was packed with passion, effort and energy.

“Both sides had a number of players injured or not available so you never know whether it was a true reflect of how either team plays.

“It was a very even match but if we can develop as we hope to do over the coming months it could be quite a different challenge when we go to Droitwich in January.”

Worcester visit Old Halesonians on Saturday (3pm).