RUGBY: Top two win again in race for league title

Newbold v Malvern  (pictures by Ray Andrews)
Newbold v Malvern (pictures by Ray Andrews)
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Away bonus-point victories for Old Laurentians and Newbold

It’s the most exciting season in local rugby for many a year and OLs and Newbold are keeping everyone on tenterhooks.

Newbold v Malvern (by Ray Andrews)

Newbold v Malvern (by Ray Andrews)

Both had potentially difficult away games on Saturday, which saw OLs beating third-placed Banbury 22-3 and Newbold winning 26-8 at fourth-placed Malvern.

Unbeaten OLs still top the Midlands 2 West (South) table by virtue of an extra win, with Newbold second, level on 81 points, with the difference coming from extra bonus points. (Banbury have been the only league side to beat Newbold this season).

It looks as if it may all come down to the final fixture of the campaign, when the two meet on April 11. Their first encounter on the opening day of the season ended in a 16-16 draw.

Next weekend both teams are at home, with OLs hosting sixth-placed Droitwich and Newbold welcoming seventh-placed Spartans to Parkfield Road.

In Midlands 3 East (South) it wasn’t a good day for third-placed Rugby St Andrews who were beaten 17-14 at sixth-placed Daventry. Saints have another local derby this weekend when fourth-placed Long Buckby are the visitors to John Tomalin Way.

Leaders Rushden & Higham and Vipers are now ten points ahead of Saints at the top of the table.

Rugby Lions were without a Midlands 4 West (South) game on Saturday, and see their lead at the top of the table cut to ten points, having 64 points from their 100 per cent record of 14 wins.

Second-placed Evesham and Claverdon in third have both played one more game than Lions though.

This Saturday Lions are at home at Webb Ellis Road to seventh-placed Atherstone, who have won only five of their 16 games so far.

And in Midlands 5 West (South) Rugby Welsh are looking forward to hosting league leaders Alcester at Alwyn Road this weekend. Welsh are currently fifth in the table.