Comfortable five-try win
Midlands 2 West (South)
Old Edwardians 25
Old Laurentians 35
After a first half which was closely contested OLs stretched away to a comfortable victory, scoring five tries against a side expected to be among the front runners in the league this season.
The final score looked close but Old Eds scored a try in the 14th minute of the time inexplicably added by the referee at the end of the second half when OLs had the game well won, writes Bill Wallis.
OLs started strongly, scoring a try inside the first two minutes when the pack drove a lineout ball from Old Eds 22 to the try line where scrum half Ben Roach strolled over. After adding the conversion, Dan O’Brien finished off a sweeping attack with the second try after five minutes for an early 12-0 lead.
But for the remainder of the first half OLs’ dangerous backs had little ball to play with, largely because the team failed to get to grips with the referee, who found little to please him in their play and awarded a succession of penalties against them – and sent Jon Bean to the sin bin for a ten minute rest; and also because the Old Eds pack were scrummaging strongly and denying OLs any worthwhile possession from that source, a problem compounded by a knee injury to OLs prop and skipper Olly Cowley, which forced him off early in the game.
The home side got one back directly from a scrum after 20 minutes, added a penalty five minutes later and half time arrived with OLs just 12-8 ahead. Old Eds’ purple patch extended into the second half when they added a try after five minutes to lead for the only time at 13-12.
An O’Brien penalty regained the lead for OLs at 15-13 before wing Sam White was set up by Glenn Todd and Richard Parker to score a fine try which O’Brien improved for a 22-13 lead.
By now OLs had established parity in the tight to add to their dominance in the lineout and were opening up.
A fine break by Grant Inch was just held close to the try line before the full back got over in the corner after some fluent back play to push OLs lead out to 27-13.
Old Eds got one back when their strong running full back Brown sliced through midfield for a well taken try. But OLs resumed their offensive when centre Iain Wallis switched the direction of an attack before handing on to lock Ben Anderson, who galloped over from the 22.
O’Brien added a penalty before the final late, late Old Eds try, again touched down by Brown.
This Saturday sees OLs annual VPs Lunch at Fenley Field before the league clash with Old Coventrians.