- Agony for Warwickshire against Durham
- Oxfordshire backs edge out Staffordshire
Midlands interest in this season’s National Under 20 Shield ended with defeats for Warwickshire and Staffordshire in hard-fought contests in today’s (February 9) quarter-finals.
Warwickshire were edged out 19-17 by Durham at West Hartlepool TDSOB and Staffordshire fought bravely before they were beaten 17-0 by a strong Oxfordshire side at Gosford All Blacks.
Warwickshire led 17-0 at the break against Durham but the hosts capitalised on the sin-binning of two Warwickshire forwards in quick succession after the break and also made expert use of a downfield wind.
Leamington’s James Harrison scored two first-half tries for Warwickshire and his fellow winger Alex Robinson (Barkers’ Butts) got the other.
Tyler Price of Nuneaton converted one of the tries and Dale Glover of Kenilworth was only just off target with a tricky penalty that would have rewarded Warwickshire for their long trip with a place in the semi-finals.
Staffordshire edged the forward battle at Gosford All Blacks' Kidlington headquarters even though they were missing influential flanker Danny Poole because of work commitments.
But Oxfordshire, who beat Warwickshire in their opening pool match in November, again had pace and class in their backs, which saw them through an entertaining contest in heavy underfoot conditions.