OLs let slip cup chance in muddy clash

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Midlands Intermediate Cup – Final

Coalville 29 - Old Laurentians 14

OLs cup run came to a juddering halt in the Midlands Final of the Intermediate Cup when a very useful Coalville side inflicted their worst defeat for some time. The pitch at Coalville had taken close on two days of continuous rain and water was lying on the surface in places, but the decision was made to go ahead.

OLs started well and took an early lead when Richard Parker won turnover ball in OL’s half to send Jon Bean away and the centre shimmied his way through to run in a fine try from fifty metres out with just two minutes on the clock. Dan O’Brien increased the lead to 8-0 with a penalty after six minutes and OLs were looking comfortable.

Coalville hit back with a well worked try after thirteen minutes from a move started in their own half before O’Brien increased OLs lead to 11-5 with a well struck penalty after eighteen minutes. But Coalville’s riposte was immediate and they ran a quickly taken penalty to go over at the posts and convert the try to take a 12-11 lead.

O’Brien was successful with another penalty to restore OL’s lead at 14-12. But almost immediately Coalville hit back with their third try in a devastating fifteen minute spell when a wayward OL’s kick presented them with a gilt edged opportunity to go over.

On the stroke of half time, OLs were too slow to react when Coalville’s livewire scrum half took a quick penalty twenty metres out and scooted across in the corner for his side to go into the break 22-14 ahead.

Conditions had deteriorated seriously through the first half and handling had become a real problem, normally reliable hands regularly spilling a ball which apparently bore the name Gilbert but which appeared to have been made by Palmolive.

The second half was reduced to a slog in the mud. Both side’s tactics were now reduced to kicking for territory, hoping to force an error or a lineout from the resultant clearance kick and OLs free scoring wings had been reduced to the role of spectators.

With just five minutes to go, OLs conceded a five metre scrum and Coalville got a nudge forward on the put in to go over for a pushover try.