RUGBY: Old Laurentians' first away league win of the season
Cup game at home to Leighton Buzzard kicks off at 2pm on Saturday
Midlands 2 West (South)
Old Laurentians 20
OLs finally secured the win points from an away league game at the fifth time of asking this season, writes Bill Wallis.
Earlsdon’s Mitchell Avenue home has never been a happy hunting ground and this particular contest was hard fought throughout with little to choose between the teams. OLs took their chances well and kept the home side at bay when it mattered.
In poor weather, a slippery ball and greasy conditions under-foot the first half was regularly punctuated by handling errors by both sides which reduced any flow to the game.
When Earlsdon dropped a pass in their half, the ever alert Harry Spears was on to it in a flash and kicked the ball through towards the try-line, controlling it well to plunge over for a try that Dan Price converted for 7-0.
In the second half, former OLs player Sam White set about bringing his new club back into the game, kicking two penalties for 7-6. But shortly after came the game’s most creative moment when, following a lineout deep in Earlsdon territory, Troy Owen cut a beautiful line to slice through the defence. Price’s conversion put OLs 14-6 up.
But from a seemingly innocuous position, Earlsdon’s centre brushed off several attempted tackles to touch down wide out and White’s conversion made it 14-13.
With 22 minutes gone, Price coolly put over a penalty and confidently added another under pressure with time running down for 20-13.
In the last 10 minutes, OLs were just about on top but the lead was still too slender for comfort. Then, in added time, Earlsdon kicked a penalty long to touch in OL’s half – but Ben Anderson leapt highest at the lineout to steal their throw and the game was over.
OLs return to the sanctuary of Fenley Field on Saturday when they entertain Leighton Buzzard in the quarter final of the Midlands Intermediate Cup, ko 2pm.
OLs will be keen to progress to the semi-final, as they did last season, but the visitors present tough challenge as they are currently unbeaten leaders in Midlands 2 East.