Ten tries and up to second in league
Midlands 2 West (South)
Old Laurentians 64
Old Coventrians 5
With Fenley Field at its best on a pleasantly warm September afternoon, a sizeable crowd, swollen by the club’s Vice Presidents enjoying their annual lunch, were treated to some fine running rugby, OLs racking up ten tries as they brushed aside a spirited but limited Old Coventrians side.
One of the most pleasing aspects of this win was that it marked the continuing renaissance of Grant Inch after a lengthy absence from regular 1st XV rugby, the full back bagging a hat trick of tries in fine style. With newcomers Sam White and Kieran McArdle settling into the side very effectively, there was a lot of satisfaction to be taken from this display as OLs moved up into second place in the league.
OCs started brightly but when OLs reached their 22 for the first time a lineout and drive set up a couple of thrusts for the line before the ball reached White on the right wing who finished well for 5-0. Five minutes later OCs hit back with a well taken try after a spell of pressure in OLs half, but this was to be the last time that they threatened.
James Orbinson and Kieran McArdle featured prominently in the movement that finished with Inch crossing for his first try after seventeen minutes, followed six minutes later by a try for scrum half Richard Parker.
Number 8 Glenn Todd and flanker James Orbinson were winning all the gain line collisions and it was Glenn Todd who crossed next, peeling around the front of a lineout to score and lift OLs lead to 26-5 after 30 minutes.
The next try was touched down by Jon Bean after Iain Wallis’s break, but the final score of the first half was probably the best. Grant Inch started it deep in OLs territory and set off down the right hand touchline. White, Wallis and Bean all handled before the ball reached Ben Anderson for the lock forward to go over. With Dan O’Brien converting four of the six tries, OLs went into the break with a 38-5 lead.
OCs came out for the second half in determined mood and spirited defence kept OLs at bay for eighteen minutes, when Inch took the ball from O’Brien at pace to carve through the centre untouched to score, O’Brien adding the extras. Willis and Anderson were ruling the lineout and Inch’s hat-trick came directly from that source, this time popping up on the right wing to go over.
After 35 minutes, a well worked OC’s lineout move hit a brick wall consisting of McArdle and Glenn Todd, possession was turned over and a sweeping attack that went through six or seven pairs of hands was finished by Wallis in the corner, O’Brien’s fine kick adding the goal points. Jon Bean scored his second when he scythed through OC’s midfield to touch down under the posts and O’Brien’s conversion signalled the final whistle.
OLs 2nd XV were left without a game when Old Coventrians failed to raise a side to play them, leaving it until midday on Saturday before crying off, thus far too late for OLs to organise an alternative match.
OLs 1sts have a blank Saturday this week as they have a bye in the first round of the RFU Intermediate Cup and return to action on October 11 when they entertain Spartans in a league match.