7 January 2012, AEI 24, Berkswell & Balsall II 21

AEI marked the start of 2012 with a return to winning ways in a hastily arranged friendly after another league opponent failed to raise a team.

A significant slope and breeze meant that AEI were literally facing an uphill struggle in the first half and, unable to match the physicality of the home team, were soon 7-0 behind. Berkswell & Balsall increased their lead to 21-0 as the AEI threatened to lose their composure in an increasingly fractious match. However, a fortuitous score by Andy Clark on the stroke of half-time gave AEI a measure of momentum as they started the second half with the slope and wind in their favour.

AEI made the most of the helpful conditions to pin the home team inside their half and, due to an injury to prop Chris Clark, were able to use the uncontested scrums to mount successive attacks which lead to first Rob Bollen and then Andy Clark narrowing the score to 21-19. With 7 minutes remaining Gareth Bott was able to kick and chase downfield and beat the defence to touch down for the winning score.

The league hopefully recommences on Saturday 14th January with the visit of league leaders Broadstreet 4 so AEI will be looking for a good squad turnout and support in this table topping clash.