Old Laurentians bowed out of the Warwickshire Cup on Sunday, going out of the competition to a well organised and efficient Stratford team who displayed a greater desire and refused to allow OLs to get into any sort of rhythm.
Stratford had first use of a strong wind blowing straight down the pitch and the sun at their backs, writes Bill Wallis.
The early exchanges were even, but after fourteen minutes, from a lineout just inside Old Laurentians’ 22, the Stratford blind side flanker burst through to touch down and open the scoring.
There was no further scoring until close to half time when Stratford’s 13 cut a good line from wide right to slice through Old Laurentians’ defence and score, his try converted for a half time score of 12-0.
OLs had the elements in their favour after the break and hopes were raised when they scored after eighteen minutes, Dan O’Brien plunging over in the corner after some good phase play.
But OLs were unable to loosen the increasingly tight stranglehold being applied by Stratford; and to add to their woes the following wind was slackening, the sun disappeared and much of the last quarter was played in heavy rain.
When Stratford went over for their third and final try after twenty four minutes of the half it was game up.
It can’t have helped that OLs had played just one game in the last six weeks while their opponents had turned out in four, but on the day they had to concede to a better team.
For OLs, the centre pairing of Matt Cockman and Ricky Lee showed glimpses of their class, Richard New and Cain Jones won a good supply of lineout ball and open side Charlie Seager, ran and tackled tirelessly.