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By Jamie Arrowsmith Monday 07 January 2013 Updated: 07/01 10:52
Aldridge 38 Birmingham Exiles 17
DESPITE the contest ending in defeat, Exiles put in a commendable performance on Saturday as they took to the field for the first time in 2013.
Aldridge wasted little time in taking a lead they would not relinquish when scrum half Chris Jones crossed on the left following a five-metre scrum, adding the conversion himself.
Dan Johnstone almost got Exiles back into the game but his penalty attempt from long range fell just short before a charge towards the visitors line ended five-metres short when the referee spotted an infringement.
A positive response from the hosts saw Jones break clear 25-metres out to cross for his second try whilst Exiles fought back well and a splendid break from Warrillow was carried on by Perkins who, in turn, provided the assist for stand off Johnstone to cross.
Putting their pack to good use, Aldridge drove a maul over from close range with flanker Eddie O'Neill claiming the try.
The handling of Exiles' backs went astray when a loose ball was kicked ahead by home left winger Alex Yates who won the race to touch down for a try that Jones goaled.
Exiles responded in similar fashion as half time approached though with second row Ben Halliwell showing a good turn of pace and alertness to dive on the loose ball for a try.
Exiles backs’ handling had been generally impressive, though slightly marred by the final pass going into touch on a couple of occasions. But there was nothing wrong with the splendid move that ended with Johnstone crossing between the posts for the try of the match, and his second, to which he added the conversion thereby narrowing the gap to seven points.
That was as good as it got for Exiles though as tries from stand off Ken Carter and a second for O’Neill, both goaled by Jones, saw Aldridge comfortably home.
Exiles return to league action on Saturday when they visit Copsewood (2.15pm).
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