Return of key players helps end poor run of form
Old Laurentian 2nd XV 19
Market Harborough 2nd XV 15
Report by Dave Middleton
OL welcomed Market Harborough looking to end a poor run of form that had seen the Fenley outfit ship over 200 points in the last three games whilst only managing to score 7.
OLs were boosted by the return of several key players from injury and unavailability and took to the field with a strong looking squad.
OLs went on the attack from the first whistle as led by the returning Hammond they hammered away at the Harborough line, but the black wall in front of them refused to yield. The breakthrough came for the home side after a period of sustained pressure allowed that old stager Ricky Reed to force his way over, the conversion narrowly missing.
Market Harborough’s huge pack were giving the green eight a tough time in the scrum and after several five metre scrums they were awarded a penalty try but with the kicker somehow missing the extras the scores were tied.
As half time approached Reed gathered a scrappy line out ball and fed the marauding Ben Shepherd who powered over and with the conversion again just missing the half time whistle went with OLs 10-5 in front.
The first points of the second half came courtesy of a Chris Halcrow penalty and OLs had a little breathing space. Market Harborough then had arguably their best spell as they used their big forwards to plunder two tries without riposte but with the kicker missing with both goal attempts their lead was just two points with 10 minutes to play.
The attitude over the last few weeks could not be faulted and this team has learnt how to dig deep and as they continued to attack at every opportunity the forwards earned a vital penalty which Halcrow duly dispatched and the home side had a slender one point advantage.
With time almost up the forwards, who worked tirelessly against very tough opposition, forced another penalty and Halcrow once again obliged with the three pointer and the game was safe.
This result was just reward for the 2’s after a very tough few weeks and their resolve and will to win should stand them in good stead over the coming weeks.