A FEISTY contest saw Rugby Welsh fall to their first home defeat of the season in the Midlands 5 West (South) division after Keresley came away from Alwyn Road with a 13-11 victory.
A late Keresley penalty gave the Coventry side a narrow victory to maintain their promotion hopes, while Welsh remain fourth in the table.
The hosts took the lead through a Angus Wilson penalty but Keresley’s strength, which has traditionally been through their forwards and their large experienced pack, soon began to cause Welsh problems and an unconverted try put the visitors in front.
Welsh knew they needed to move the ball away from the set pieces and started to create some opportunities through their backline.
Midway through the half, following a Keresley sin binning, Welsh used their man advantage to good effect and the ball went through several pairs of hands to enable Matty Richards to score a try in the corner.
As the game progressed a series disappointing incidents occurred off the ball and Welsh were undoubtedly affected by injuries to key players Ross Mawby and Adam Bond.
The hosts continued to compete well but Keresley’s dominant scrum was used to good effect to create another try to give them a narrow 10-8 lead at half time.
The second half saw Welsh have plenty of territory and their lineout was strong with Ash Beecham performing well and their younger pack began to cope more effectively with Keresley’s physical approach.
Buckland and Taylor looked dangerous when in possession and following further pressure Welsh took the lead with 15 minutes left.
A high tackle presented Welsh with a penalty and Angus Wilson did the rest by slotting the ball between the posts.
Shortly afterwards James Buckland was narrowly wide with a long range drop goal before the final stages saw Keresley work their way in to the Welsh half and they clinched their victory two minutes from the end with a well struck penalty.
Welsh face another challenging weekend when they travel to Birmingham Exiles where they will be hoping to gain revenge for a narrow defeat shortly before Christmas.