TWO TRIES in extra-time secured Bromsgrove a place in the final of the North Midlands Cup Plate as they came through a tough battle at Worcester Wanderers.
Despite conceding an early try, Dan Protherough’s side appeared to be in control as they led 22-7 at half time thanks to tries from Phil Horton, Ben Meadows, Ieuan Mustow and Dave Lewis.
However, Worcester came storming back after the break and took the lead, with Chris Griffiths, Mike Dodge and Tom Muir going over.
Lewis levelled matters with a try late on before Wanderers missed the chance to snatch victory at the death when Ollie Meadows went wide with a penalty and Bromsgrove made them pay for it in extra-time.
The visitors knew they were going to face a tough challenge to progress as they lined-up with a host of inexperienced players and this showed in the early stages. A cross-field kick from Bill Harling found wing Dodge who touched down for the simplest of tries. Meadows landed the conversion from the touchline to put Worcester 7-0 in front.
Fortunately, this proved to be a wake-up call for Bromsgrove who hit back with a try from Horton after he got on the end of a driving maul. James Upton missed the conversion, but he was successful with his next attempt as Mustow went over. Bromsgrove were starting to show the kind of form that has propelled them to second place in the National League Three as their forwards began to dominate.
Meadows also went over from a catch and drive to extend Bromsgrove’s lead. Upton made no mistake with the conversion before slotting home a penalty on the stroke of half time.
At this point, Bromsgrove looked as though they might run away with the match, but Worcester came out for the second half with other ideas.
Two tries in as many minutes through Griffiths and Dodge got the hosts back in the match. The difference in class between the two sides was apparent, but Worcester seemed to have the edge in the scrum.
Bromsgrove were also not doing themselves any favours as Adam Whiteman was yellow carded following a punch up and Wanderers took full advantage.
They levelled the scores with a penalty from Meadows before Muir went over to give them a 27-22 lead. This appeared to be it for Bromsgrove as they entered the final five minutes without influential number eight Horton.
But they dug deep and forced the game into extra-time as Ollie Bache made good strides before Lewis sprinted through to score.
Upton and Meadows both missed chances to win the match in normal time, but it was Meadows’ which was to prove more costly as Bromsgrove stepped things up.
Despite losing Alex Woodward for most of it, they scored 15 unanswered points to seal their place in the final where they will meet Dudley Kingswinford.