RUGBY: Good win for Old Laurentians as just four points cover top five clubs in division
Much-improved performance by 2nds against Lutterworth
Midland 2 East (South)
Old Laurentians 43
Report by Mick Warwick
This fixture was one of last season’s games which went badly wrong, when OLs ended up shipping 40-odd points, and last Saturday, with just 5 minutes on the clock, it looked as if we could be heading that way again. Stamford had drifted through OL’s mid-field defence to score a simple try which their kicker had no problem in turning into a 7 pointer.
Fortunately for the OLs this early glimpse of attacking rugby from the home side did not continue through a first half which turned into an error strewn display from both sides. The half time ear bashing from the coaches did the trick and OLs improved dramatically, scoring 6 unanswered tries in the second half to add to the one scored in the first half.
The home side enjoyed a slope and wind advantage in the first half, but were unable to take full advantage of the conditions. Ironically during this half OLs scored one of the games better tries after 20 minutes when centre Troy Owen set off on a diagonal run from halfway. He was well supported and the ball eventually found its way back into his hands for him to dot down under the posts, Ben Roach adding the extras for 7 all.
Any thoughts from supporters that this piece of brilliant play would continue were unfounded and the half petered out, but not before Stamford re-took the lead when they cantered down the wing to score in the corner. The conversion was missed and so the halftime score was 12-7 to the home side.
An improvement was seen immediately in the second half, when 3 minutes in number 8 Ash Moore picked up and drove over the line from a close-in scrum. The conversion was missed but the scores were level at 12-12.
OLs continued to put the pressure on and after a quarter of an hour, from another scrum 5, Moore again drove for the line, the ball was fed back and worked to Owen who cruised over for his second try of the match, converted by Roach to put OLs 19-12 up. Olly Cowley came off the bench for John Barrett and Paul Lewis replaced second rower James Harris.
With 20 minutes gone fly half, Harry Powell finished off a three-quarter move to cross unopposed near the posts to give Roach an easy conversion and a 26-12 lead. Then winger Luke Townsend latched on to a Roach kick ahead to outpace the home defence and score close in, Roach converting to complete the double act for a 33-12 lead. Around this time replacement Mike Walsh came on for Powell, with Roach moving to fly half.
Two more tries were added in the final minutes. The first was Townsend’s second of the day from a straight feed down the line, the second was scored by replacement Olly Cowley following up some excellent work from new father, Dom Hammond. Neither was converted but OLs had finished as comfortable winners
This result leaves the OLs in a healthy fifth place in the league with a points span of just four covering the top five clubs. This weekend’s fixture is against eighth placed Olney, kick off 3pm at Fenley Field, and will be preceded by the annual Vice President’s Luncheon.
Old Laurentians 2nd XV 17 –
Lutterworth 2nd XV 33
Report by David Middleton
OLs welcomed Lutterworth to Fenley Field for this friendly fixture looking to put right some of the wrongs from the previous weeks encounter.
Skipper Martin was otherwise engaged so James Melvin led the team out but this was the only time they were in front of the visitors for the opening 30 minutes as Lutterworth started much the stronger of the two sides.
OLs were struggling to come to terms with the official’s interpretation of the laws at ruck time and the visitors took full advantage, running in two converted tries inside the first 30 minutes.
The final 10 minutes of the half saw OLs finally come to life and with half time approaching the always excellent Richard Parker grabbed his side’s first score of the game with a trade mark dummy and mazy run, but with the conversion falling short OLs turned round 14-5 down.
The home side were dropping like flies and were lucky to be able to summon replacements from the 3rd team playing on the adjacent pitch, Andy Thorne and Chris Peachey in particular helping out.
It was Peachey who grabbed the next score for the home side after a strong forward drive from a line out, touching down in clubhouse corner, the conversion again falling short, but OLs were right back in it.
OLs were now in control as Lutterworth struggled to escape their 22 but, with the line seemingly at their mercy the Lutterworth wing intercepted a stray pass and went the length of the field making the conversion a formality.
OLs came storming back with Le Poidevin, Parker and Shepherd all causing the visitors defence huge problems, but when the final pass again went astray the Lutterworth man broke away to score in the corner, the conversion falling short.
OLs could not be faulted for their efforts but the Lutterworth defence held firm and another converted try put the game out of reach for the Fenley men.
The home side did have the final score of the game, Shepherd rounding off another strong performance touching down under the posts with Billyeald adding the conversion.
This was a much-improved performance from the previous week, especially given the amount of enforced changes OLs had to make. But they will need to improve significantly if they are to overcome local rivals Newbold in the Clonmell Cup in a fortnight’s time.