Great pictures from their 27-24 win over Newark
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 1 East
Old Laurentians 27
In a helter skelter match, OLs stunned their opponents by racing into a 19-0 lead with just six minutes played and looked to be heading for a big score, writes Bill Wallis.
But Newark re-grouped to respond splendidly and gradually whittle down the deficit until they took the lead themselves at 24-19 with just 15 minutes to go.
OLs cause wasn’t helped by suffering three yellow cards and found themselves down to 13 men when Newark scored the try that put them ahead; and the early cohesion and purpose they displayed disappeared completely for 30 minutes as Newark took the game over.
But they regathered themselves to go back on the offensive for the final stages and secure the winning points.
The first score came with just a minute played after Newark fielded the kick off and found touch on their 22. OLs won the lineout and drove the ball from the 22 for James Orbinson to touch down.
OLs gathered the restart kick and strong carries by Daz Dean and Kieran McArdle took them deep into Newark territory and won a penalty. Grant Inch despatched it into touch near the corner and at the lineout Ben Anderson and Dom Hammond combined beautifully to send Glenn Todd down the five metre channel to score.
Barely two further minutes had passed when Inch found space with a well-judged kick towards the left hand touchline which was followed up at pace by Andy Coleman.
The wing displayed the touch and subtlety of a Premier League midfielder and astutely passed the ball infield with his boot for Troy Owen to run on to, gather and score under the posts.Dom Hammond converted two of the tries and OLs were 19-0 up.
Newark were now competing effectively, but it was the home side who came closest to the next score after strong carries through midfield by Orbinson and Hammond. A scrum near Newark’s line was taken against the head and Glenn Todd was just held up as he went for the line.
Newark arrived on the scoreboard with 33 minutes played when OLs lost possession in their own half, wing Callum Slack was quickest to the ball and went over for Mackie to add the goal points for 19-7, the score at half time.
Newark were now hunting more points, which came when Mackie dropped a goal, followed on 20 minutes when the visitors were awarded a penalty try for obstruction and another yellow card for OLs. The conversion brought the score to 19-17, shortly to be followed by another card, this time for Richard Parker, bringing replacement Reiss Boon forward from full back to scrum half.
Tails now up, Newark were rewarded when left wing Conor Slack went over for a straightforward try, OLs defence now sorely stretched with two men in the bin. Mackie converted and Newark were ahead for the first time at 24-19.
OLs went back on to the offensive, now restored to full strength. Inch kicked a penalty towards the corner flag but it bounced infield where Hammond was first to the ball but was tackled just short of the line, setting up a flurry of attacks which tested the visitors’ defence to the full.
After a series of penalties, OLs finally made the line when the ball was worked right where Hammond crossed in the corner.
The difficult conversion was missed and scores were now level at 24-24.
OLs continued to look for the winning score and another penalty award resulted in Newark’s second yellow card inside ten minutes.
With injury time looming, Reiss Boon calmly kicked the points that landed the spoils for his side.
In what developed into a tight match, on balance OLs deserved the win points, and the try bonus that came with them, because of that impressive opening spell; and for displaying the strength and resolve to fight back at the end.
This Saturday sees the second of this season’s big local derbies, OLs making the short trip to Parkfield Road to take on Newbold, kicking off at 2.15pm.
The reverse fixture at Fenley Field was closer than many had anticipated, given the predicament in which OLs found themselves at the time; and, although Newbold will start as very clear favourites, injuries permitting OLs should be able to field a markedly stronger side than last time out.