RUGBY PICTURES: Old Laurentians stay second with bonus-point win over Evesham

Troy Owen in the air
Troy Owen in the air

Another five-pointer against champions Kenilworth needed to be sure of play-off spot

PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

James Orbinson tackling

James Orbinson tackling

Midlands 2 West (South)

Old Laurentians 43 Evesham 11

OLs enjoyed a smooth passage in this game, on top from the start and scoring seven tries to their opponents’ one, writes Bill Wallis. They were on the scoreboard inside two minutes when Steve Taylor finished a driving maul from a lineout, the prop enjoying a lively game on his return to action and forming part of a strong scrummaging front row with Karl Chaplow and Dom Hammond.

Evesham’s fly half got three points back with a penalty before Ben Scott finished off some smart back play to score, Dan Price adding the goal points. Now well on top, OLs were pulling all the strings, James Collins sniping run almost working Ben Anderson over but the final pass was a bit too hot for the lock to handle.

James Collins on a run

James Collins on a run

The visitors were next to score with a penalty and following the re-start Jordan Bunn took a quick penalty and sent Troy Owen away to touch down, half time arriving with OLs 17-6 to the good.

The second half was 7 minutes old when the Evesham pack just held a driving maul close to their line. When the ball was released scrum half Collins shaped to go open but switched it to the blind side where Price had looped around to take his pass and sprint over unopposed for a well created try and a 22-6 lead.

Anderson was next to cross, finishing off a move he had started and combining well with Scott to score, Jon Bean adding the goal points for 29-6. Evesham showed they weren’t going to submit without a fight and created a position from which their left wing got over in the corner to score and reduce the deficit to 29-11.

OLs re-asserted their control and Ben Scott finished off a well worked move down the blind side by Bean and Bunn for his second try; and the wing might have had a third when, with the line yawning ahead, the pass to him shot by his knees and into touch.

Dom Hammond makes a break

Dom Hammond makes a break

Anderson appeared to be over for his second, but the referee ruled that he had been held up, before Bunn fielded a mis-placed Evesham clearance just inside OLs’ half and set off on a mesmerising run that took him clean through the visitors’ defence to score under the posts, Bean’s conversion bringing up the final score.

The bonus point win ensured that OLs held on to second place in the league going into the final match of the season at Kenilworth on Saturday. Third placed Kidderminster have, on paper, a straightforward task against second from bottom Old Coventrians, which will almost certainly yield a bonus point win for them. So, to hang on to the promotion play-off spot, OLs have to equal that at Kenilworth against the newly crowned league champions – a tough proposition under any circumstances, but one that OLs will relish.

It was Captains Day at the club and a large crowd had plenty of action to enjoy. OLs 2nd XV beat their counterparts from Evesham; and an Under 16/Under 17 combination faced a Colts team from Seattle, USA, Liberty RFC, on the first leg of their UK tour. A big and strong Under 18 American team won an entertaining game by 45-20 and added immensely to the festival like atmosphere at Fenley Field.

Evesham try to stop Jordan Bunn

Evesham try to stop Jordan Bunn