Ledbury 13 pts Cheltenham North 13 pts.
LEDBURY gained some measure of revenge for a comprehensive early-season defeat but were left frustrated that a late try deprived them of a much-needed Midlands Three West (South) win.
Cheltenham, playing with the slope in the first period, took the lead with a try and a penalty, although Ledbury full-back George Bennion reduced arrears with two penalties in difficult kicking conditions.
The home side then took the lead just before the break with a try from skipper Jock Welch, converted by Bennion.
With the elements in their favour in the second period and fly-half Kieram Hallam pegging Cheltenham back in their own 22, Ledbury were confident of going on to win.
But the Ross Road side missed numerous chances to seal the victory and paid when Cheltenham scored with just three minutes remaining. Even then, there was a late chance for Ledbury to snatch the win only for Ben Smith’s long-range penalty to fall just short.
Ledbury travel to Evesham for their next league match on Saturday as they seek to move further away from the bottom two teams.
Ross 11 pts Bredon Star 3 pts.
HARD work by the Ross groundstaff paid off as the south Herefordshire club made a winning start to the New Year in Gloucester 2.
Conditions were heavy but both sides tried to play passing rugby.
Ross took the lead when Craig Powell and Huw Bellamy worked the ball to Dan Field whose kick ahead was gathered by Gareth Holdsworth for the opening try.
Although the conversion was missed, a Powell penalty increased the lead to 8-0 at the interval.
In the second period, Ross remained dominant at the scrum and remained in control of the game.
Although Wayne Williams suffered a disappointment when the referee judged that he had knocked on in scoring what would have been a second Ross try, a penalty apiece secured a win which takes the home side up to fourth in the table.
The man-of-the-match award was combined and went to the Ross front row of Wayne Williams, Luke Ward, Tony Clements and Matt Redman.
l HEREFORD are the only past winners still left in this season’s North Midlands Cup competition.
But the Wyesiders face a series of tough battles if they are to have any hope of lifting the trophy they won in 1988, 1990 and 1992.
They have a postponed quarter-final tie with Bournville to schedule and, should they come through that difficult clash victorious, they then face a trip to the powerful Old Halesonians in the last four.
Old Halesonians are currently flying high in Midlands One West and enjoyed a comfortable 31-3 success at Wyeside in September.
Ross, who won the North Midlands Vase in 2008 and 2009, harbour realistic hopes of a repeat success in 2013.
The south Herefordshire club host Tenbury in a delayed second-round tie with the winners hosting Chaddesley Corbett or Telford Hornets in the quarter-final, which should be completed by January 19.
l GREYHOUND’S development side began the New Year with a convincing 47-27 win at Kidderminster 3rd in Division Three of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Merit League.
There were tries from Tom Dickinson, Rob Chance (3), George Field (2) and John Roberts while Roberts and Dave Bromage (5) added conversions.