RFU Intermediate Cup,
Midlands – 3rd Round
Old Laurentians 17
Laurentians made it through to the Midlands Quarter Final of the Intermediate Cup with an injury-time try as extra-time was looming, writes Bill Wallis.
A hard fought match, with never more than one score separating the sides, was tipped OLs’ way by their second-half effort, when they finished far more strongly than their opponents.
Several changes were forced on the side by injury and non-availability, When James Collins failed to recover from the calf injury he sustained the previous week, Ricky Reed stepped in at scrum half and, as always, did a great job.
Rudi Reid and Jack Morphet played a half each, both having been selected for the Warwickshire Under 20 side that played on Sunday; and Lee Hersey switched from wing to full back, where he looked confident and assured.
Starting in the back row this week was James Orbinson, who impressed with his all round play and was certain in the tackle and always on hand in support of runners.
Dunstablians had the upper hand in the early stages but in a half with little to report, close to 40 minutes had elapsed before the first score, which fell to the home side. OLs thought they were still playing advantage after the referee had signalled a penalty but after a knock on a scrum was awarded to Dunstablians. From there they set up an attack which led to their left wing Warren going over in the corner, 5-0.
But into injury time in the first half, from a lineout some ten metres out from the home side’s line, OLs worked a set move and Dom Hammond took Paul Willis’s catch to drive through and go over for 5-5 at the break.
Dunstablians opened the scoring in the second half when a well worked midfield move put full back Boland over for a try, converted by White for a 12-5 lead.
Then Lee Hersey went over the try line after a trademark run down the line but, to the bemusement of all, the home touch judge signalled that he had put a foot out of play.
But OLs soon struck, following a well placed kick through the home defence by Jon Bean. A defender failed to release and the resultant penalty was quickly taken by Simon Bayliss who strolled over from a few metres out. Bean converted and the scores were level at 12-12.
OLs were now the dominant side but failed to turn this into points until five minutes into added time. Dunstablians tried to run the ball out of defence, the move broke down on their 22 and Bean was quickest to the ball, hacking it through to win the race for the touch down and the final score of an undistinguished game.
n OLs return to league action on Saturday when Upton upon Severn are the visitors to Fenley Field, kick off 2.15pm.
Southam 2nds 20
Old Laurentians 2nds 32
OLs 2nds travelled to Southam in the Clonmell Cup and looked to be coasting to a comfortable victory.
A converted try by Jack Boulden with the first attack of the game was followed by good periods of possession and pressure by the visitors.
A flowing move from a scrum saw OLs distribute quickly down the line to speedy winger Ben Roberts who outstripped the defence to increase the lead to 12-0.
OLs were caught napping, however, by a quick break for a fine individual score by the Southam fly-half.
OLs finished the half with a line out catch and drive, which saw veteran Steve Pike touch down and in-form Dan O’Brien convert for a lead of 19-5.
The second half began with OLs carrying on in the same vein, O’Brien adding a penalty before the home side responded with another breakaway try. OLs pressed again and flanker Charlie Seager continued to impress by finishing off another exhibition of ‘quick-hands’ to put OLs seemingly out of site.
The visitors then seemed to ease off, which is something that needs to be worked on! This allowed the home side back into the game.
When in a seemingly unthreatening position in their own half, they danced through an invisible OL defence. O’Brien added a further penalty but Southam had the last word with a converted try.
A win… but lessons to learn!