RUGBY: Old Laurentians thank sponsor Webb Ellis

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Smart new shirts for win over Cheltenham North

Midlands 2 West (South)

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Old Laurentians 47

Cheltenham North 7

Saturday was the occasion of OLs annual Vice Presidents lunch and some 75 VPs enjoyed an entertaining match as OLs turned out in a new set of jerseys, generously sponsored by Webb Ellis and presented to the club by Lawrence Webb before kick-off.

Just four minutes had passed when great work by OLs pack in turning over North possession set up a try on the left for Simon Bayliss. There was a repeat performance just four minutes later when Bayliss outstripped the defence again to go over for his second.

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Two fine conversions by Danny Orr gave OLs an early 14-0 lead.

Although OLs continued to dominate territory and possession, North kept them at bay for the next 20 minutes until a strong incursion from full back by Luke Harris set up another run by Bayliss, this time held short of the line. But he off-loaded to the supporting Iain Wallis who went over for OLs’ third try, again converted by Orr to hoist the score to 21-0, where it stayed until half time.

For 20 minutes the game slipped into stalemate, neither side making any real headway. But OLs pack began to get the upper hand in all phases of play and 15 minutes into the second half a lineout 20 metres from North’s line resulted in quick possession. Wallis took the ball on, Adams continued the move and Ricky Reed went over for OLs’ bonus point try, Orr adding the extras for 28-0.

Then followed the try of the match when Carl Adams set off for the line just inside North’s half and 45 metres on crossed for a try with a trail of would be tacklers scattered in his wake. Orr improved his try and OLs were 35-0 up.

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When North got one back after 30 minutes, it was scored by Mark Cashmore, a Rugby man born and bred and son of a distinguished local player of a few years back, Chris Cashmore. It was superbly converted by scrum half Johns and reduced North’s deficit to 35-7.

A long run by Mark Todd took OLs deep into opposition territory and from a penalty lineout the ball was driven on, flanker Pete Nealon finishing the move to go over and touch down, Orr’s conversion drifting just wide.

OLs finished the scoring with a try by Danny Murch after Adams and Orr combined cleverly to bamboozle the North defence. Orr improved the try with his sixth successful conversion from seven attempts.

OLs are without a game this weekend, after a second successive bye in the RFU Intermediate Cup, this time in the second round.

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But sights are now firmly set on the big local derby with league leaders Newbold at Parkfield Road on the following Saturday. With OLs sitting in third place in the league, this encounter will be a highly significant one, and potentially season defining for both sides.

Friendly Matches

Leicester Medics 5

Old Laurentian 2nds 69

OLs 2nd XV travelled to Leicester and enjoyed an 11-try romp in which Grant Inch grabbed the headlines, proving far too strong for the Medics defence in running in five tries.

Ted Wallis and James Orbinson registered two apiece, with Scott Wiles, making a welcome return to action after injury, and Steve Pike completing the list. Jon Bean kicked seven conversions in a sparkling display by the 2nds.

Old Laurentian 3rd XV 33

Bedworth 3rd XV 21

OLs 3rds completed a clean sweep for the club when seeing off Bedworth’s challenge. Scrum half Ben Roach went over for two tries, Tom Johnson, on his debut for the club, John Brimley and Kev White adding one apiece, White adding the conversion to four of the five tries.