RUGBY: Old Laurentians Under 16s through to final of Warwickshire Cup
Victory over Old Leamingtonians books Fenley Field side's place at Butts Arena on April 15
Warwickshire Cup - Under 16s Semi-Final
Old Leamingtonians 20 Old Laurentian 34
OLs Under 16s won through to the final of the Warwickshire Cup with a fine win over old rivals Leamingtonians at the weekend, reversing an earlier narrow loss to the same side last October when they were at less than full strength.
OLs dominated the first half in terms of both territory and possession, but over enthusiasm and handling errors meant that at least three gilt- edged scoring opportunities were missed and instead it was Old Leams who took an 8-5 lead into the break, OL’s sole success coming from a Harry Spears try.
In the second half OL’s continued in the same vein as before, the forwards dominating their opponents in all phases, but Leams extended their lead with a fine try early on to go 13-5 ahead, before Dan Price kicked a penalty to reduce the arrears to 13-8.
The next score was decisive as OLs took a lead that they were not to relinquish, wing Rafa Cruz racing down the touch line then cutting inside and beating three defenders before crossing under the posts for a fine try, Price converting to put OLs ahead at 13-15. Price then finished off a flowing move from line out possession to touch down in the corner, the fly half converting his own try with a fine kick from the touch line to lift OLs lead to 13-22. Leams struck back with an excellent try when OLs failed to control the re-start kick and the conversion meant that, against the run of play, they had clawed their way back to 20-22.
OLs went back on to the offensive and after a try was disallowed for a forward pass, Leams had the put in at a scrum close to their line. Hooker Tom Jempson won the strike against the head and Matt O’Connor did what all good number 8s do in that position and picked the ball up to power over and score. Price converted and OLs were now 20-29 ahead.
Four minutes later, Toby Corrigan turned over Leam’s possession in their 22 and the pack picked and drove the ball through several phases before releasing it for O’Connor to throw a trademark dummy and touch down for his second and OL’s final score of the day.
OLs must now wait to see who their final opponents will be. Barkers Butts are through to the other semi-final and will play the winners of the Market Bosworth v Berkswell & Balsall quarter-final to decide who faces the Fenley Field side in the final at the Butts Arena, home of Coventry RFC, on April 15.
OLs still have an excellent chance of getting three sides through to Finals Day.
The Under 14s semi-final against Silhillians was due to be played at the weekend but the game was postponed; and the Under 15s are due to play their delayed quarter-final against Kenilworth this weekend.
Both teams have tough tasks awaiting them if they are to join their U16 colleagues on April 15, but hopes are high that they can pull it off.