A much more evenly matched contest than last week’s continued AEI’s poor run of results since the end of November 2011. Suffering from a lack of fit and available backs, AEI again had to play several players out of position and lacked the cutting edge which was to the fore at the start of the season.
Playing into a strong wind, AEI misjudged the kick off and effectively gifted the visitors an easy 7 points which fortunately spurred the home team into showing glimpses of their early season form. Muscular work from the pack drove the opposition back into their 22 and yielded a penalty 5 yards out which Jonathan Jenkins was able to convert by burrowing through the Atherstone defense.
Not to be outdone, the backs showed off their skills after a slick passing out of the tackle allowed winger Jonas Navickas to sprint half the length of the field to score his first try of the season. With the wind now at their backs AEI aimed to pin the opposition in their half and maintain their narrow advantage.
However, AEI’s lack of cohesive defense in the face of well organised driving mauls meant that Atherstone were able to kick 3 penalties to take the lead and then a missed tackle allowed the visitors to canter in under the posts and lead 23-10 with only 7 minutes remaining.
A concerted effort by the whole team to overturn this deficit was unfortunately let down by some wrong decisions while camped on the opposition 5 metre line. Attention must now be directed towards the next league fixture where AEI will look to halt an alarming run of league defeats and get back to winning ways.