RUGBY: Thrilling derby for AEI and Old Laurentians

AEI Rugby and Old Laurentians 3rd XV
AEI Rugby and Old Laurentians 3rd XV

AEI seeking former players and supporters for centenary celebrations

AEI (Rugby) RFC 36

Old Laurentians 3rd XV 34

A local derby saw Old Laurentians 3rd XV visit and produce a thrilling match, which swung first one way and then the other, before AEI scored the final try through Joel Bale to tie scores, then man of the match Chris Halcrow completed a perfect performance with the boot by coolly slotting the conversion to give the home team the victory.

Throughout the match and despite the numerous injuries sustained by the pack, the set piece was a fruitful source of possession in both attack and defence.

Derek Mcculloch opened the home side’s scoring after running in almost unopposed from a set move off the lineout and then came close to repeating the same manoeuvre close to the OLs’ line but was stopped illegally; Joel Bale however was on hand to profit from the resulting penalty drive.

In between the scores Chris Halcrow kicked a penalty from in front of the posts. The final AEI score of the half owed a significant amount to good fortune. An attempted kick to touch was tapped down by the opposition into the grateful arms of guest flanker Taz Langhor, who then galloped half the length of the pitch to touch down.

The try of the game was a scintillating second solo effort from standout winger Harry Valentine who collected the ball on the opposition 10 metre line and then showed pace and power to weave his way under the posts through a despairing defence. At this point AEI were comfortably in front but ill discipline and a collective relaxing allowed OLs to score three quick tries, during which time full back Shane Cave suffered a serious knee injury.

With a few minutes remaining AEI found themselves five points behind and were grateful to Joel Bale who capped off a fine display in the tight and loose by scoring his second try of the match.

AEI are indebted to the guest players such as Chris Heslop for helping to make the game such a spectacle and to the commitment of the home players, several of whom played out of position or in multiple positions throughout the game. Thanks to OLs for filling in after the original opponents dropped out and as always to the referee.

AEI celebrate our 100th season in September 2017. If you have been part of AEI (Rugby) RFC over the years as a player or supporter we would like you to join us in the celebrations. To find out more visit www.aeirfc.co.uk