Royals off the mark with dogged Birmingham win

Leamington Royals line up ahead of their clash with Birmingham Bulldogs.
Leamington Royals line up ahead of their clash with Birmingham Bulldogs.

Leamington Royals won their first home game of the Midlands Premier season, beating Birmingham Bulldogs 30-20 at Acre Close in Whitnash.

Royals welcomed back experienced full-back Will Cox and prop Charlie Gilkes to the fold and started strongly, with a sweeping move finished out wide by captain Steve Alford.

Strong defence kept repeated Birmingham attacks at bay before pressure told and the visitors scored a try out wide.

The game proved to be an arm wrestle with both teams dominating for periods.

Returning after a six-year absence, Jack Secher took control on both sides of the ball and scored a try to round off a fine individual performance.

Man-of-the-match Ian Grime scored two tries, while fellow forward Ben Nuttall also added his name to the scoresheet.

The reliable Tom Hyam added five goals with the boot, while Royals newcomers Jones, John, Williams, Humphries and Mackenzie continued to impress and union debutant John Brear showed his potential at the different code.