RUGBY: It’s OLs v Newbold on Saturday 2.15pm at Fenley Field

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Wins for OLs and Newbold going into big game

Pictures are from OLs 2nd XV game against Earlsdon, courtesy of Ray Todd.

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Midlands 2 West (South)

Cheltenham North 13 - Old Laurentians 30

When Jody Roderick scored a try with almost his first touch of the ball after coming on as a replacement for OLs, he had waited a long time for the opportunity as his only other appearance in the 1st XV had been 17 years earlier, so he took full advantage of it!

OLs made the journey to Bishops Cleeve by coach for the game against bottom of the table Cheltenham North, hoping that it would not end in an unexpected defeat as had happened the last time they travelled this way, to Upton on Severn!!

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Unfortunately things didn’t bode well early on, as the Cheltenham left wing received a box kick just inside his own half and weaved his way through to score in the right corner and give the home side a 5-0 lead inside 2 minutes. Worse followed as an OL’s penalty just inside their own half was reversed for ill-discipline and the Cheltenham fly half kicked a good long range effort for an 8-0 lead after just 10 minutes.

OLs slowly started to put things together but a combination of mistakes and resolute defence from Cheltenham kept the score the same until Jon Bean kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to 5 points. Bean missed the opportunity to close the gap further as another penalty drifted just wide of the post, though OLs ended up with a fortuitous 5 metre scrum as Cheltenham managed to pass the ball back over their own try line before touching the ball down.

From the resulting scrum the ball was worked left and right before the OL’s pack seemed to have legitimately scored, only for the referee to give a penalty against them for holding on!

The referee then sin binned the Cheltenham centre as they started to lose their discipline.

OLs lost Danny Murch with a recurrence of the injury that has kept him on the sidelines for many weeks and this brought Jody Roderick into the fray for his momentous return to the 1st XV after 17 years.

He was soon in the action, as a swift move from a scrum in their own half by OL’s half-backs released Iain Wallis, who sliced through the Cheltenham defence before releasing Roderick, who rolled back the years and scored well in the corner. Bean added the extras from the touchline and the referee blew for half time, with OL’s holding a slender 10-8 lead.

OL’s then produced a much better performance for the second half and controlled the game almost totally.

This spell was started by the pack winning one of several scrums against the head and a flowing backs move ended with Jody Roderick this time turning provider for Matt Miller to score in the corner, for an unconverted try and a 15-8 lead.

Cheltenham had a second player carded almost immediately after their first returned. Surprisingly Bean missed the penalty though he made amends shortly after, releasing Wallis with a good inside ball, who in turn released Jamie Brightwell to score under the posts, Bean made no mistake this time and OL’s stretched their lead to 22-8.

A flowing move from left to right ended with Simon Bayliss scoring his obligatory try in the right corner. Bean’s conversion attempt hit the upright, but the victory and the bonus point were now secure.

The game then deteriorated and Cheltenham gave away several penalties, one giving Bean the opportunity to stretch the lead to 30-8, before Cheltenham managed a consolation try and Roderick capped an impressive comeback with a yellow card!

This Saturday sees the big one at Fenley Field, when Newbold are the visitors for what is a crucial match for both sides. The winners will be in pole position to claim at least second place when the league season reaches its climax just seven games later. As well as the 1st XV clash at 2.15pm, the clubs 2nd and 3rd XVs will be doing battle, kicking off at 12.30pm.

Spectators coming by car are recommended to arrive early as a very big crowd is expected, and it is unlikely that there will be car parking space in the ground after 1.30pm.

Warwickshire League 1

Old Laurentian 2nd XV 70

Earlsdon 2nds 12

In the earlier league encounter between these sides in November, OLs had ground out a narrow 13-10 victory and when the visitors scored early in this game it looked like a similar result might be on the cards. But by the second quarter OLs started to pick up the pace and tries from Ben Roberts, Troy Owen and Ben Shepherd saw them reach half time with a 15-5 lead.

The second half proved to be a different game as OL were unstoppable, dominating all areas of play. Roberts completed his hat trick, as well as adding two conversions.

Owen notched his second and Ricky Reed, Jack Boulden, Paul Lewis and Mark Eagles also scored tries. But pride of place must go to Sam Herman, in his last game in an OL’s jersey before returning home to Minneapolis after a very successful six-month stay in Rugby. Sam scored two second half tries, the second coming in the last play of the game when he ran in from half way, evading several tacklers on the way and demonstrating a real sense of theatre!

Denzil Evans added a couple of conversions as OLs consolidated their lead at the top of Warwickshire 1.

U8s: OLs 7 Claverdon 8: The first half saw OLs storm into the lead playing some of their best rugby of the season. The second half was a different story with concentration slipping. They let Claverdon back into the game and just lost the match in the dying seconds.

U8s: OLs 6 Claverdon 7: The second match was much the same with OLs playing some sublime rugby, interspersed with lack of concentration and over ambition. Some great individual play meant that OLs kept in touch but never really threatened to win.

U8s: OLs 8 Claverdon 6: Finally as tiredness and the cold took hold OLs managed to play consistently well, being deserved winners against a well organised Claverdon side.

More on OLs’ juniors on:

U10s: Mini tournament v Kenilworth and Claverdon.

OLs Saints 7 Kenilworth 2: The first half went OLs’ way with four tries by Tom, Daniel, Ryan and Matthew.

Second half was much more even with Kenilworth scoring from the start. Harry then scored his first for the OLs. Kenilworth responded with another try before Daniel and Harry added two for OLs.

OLs Tigers 2 Claverdon 7: Claverdon arrived with a depleted team and three OLs volunteered to play for them. From the start Claverdon took control scoring six tries before half time, two by Daniel and Thomas. OLs’ reply was two tries from Tom. In the second half great defending from the OLs only allowed Claverdon to score one further try by Thomas.

OLs Saints 9 Claverdon 1: The first few minutes were very equal with Matthew scoring and Claverdon replying, then a further four tries from OLs before half time, two from Daniel and two from Beno.

In the second half OLs controlled with a further four tries from Daniel, Matthew, Beno and Ryan.

Midlands West 2 (South)

Newbold on Avon RFC

Pershore 19

This was a game Newbold were confident of winning. Pershore, languishing at the bottom of the table, whilst Newbold are currently in second place.

The home started at a ferocious pace, well won line out ball was fed along the backs, with Ben Mann coming into the line, a dainty jink, forward, released Phil Reed at pace, drew the defence and James McGill in support crossed the line. Lloyd Warner missed the conversion, 5–0.

The kick off was well secured, out to the backs, some deft inter passing found its way back to Reed who saw the gap and his 40-yard dash, finished the move, again unconverted, 10–0. Newbold continued to dominate, driving the opposition back into their own 22, a ruck five yards from the goal line, still gaining momentum, finally stopped at the goal line, Sean Fereday growing in stature every week crashed over, Warner finding his kicking boots added the conversion. 10 minutes gone and 17-0 to the good.

As has happened too often Newbold contented themselves that the game was won, Pershore had other ideas, opting to run the ball from deep, making good ground, missed tackles opened the gap and Pershore support cycled the ball out to the wing who dived over unconverted. 17 – 5. The restart saw an exchange of kicks between the sides, with Mann eventually catching the ball in his 22 and running it out of danger, linking with his backs before the forwards advanced the ball into the visiting 22, conceding a penalty for their efforts. Another tap and go nearly paid dividends as Pershore’s slick handling carried the ball 60 yards before being halted just inside Newbold’s 22, the clearance signaling the end of the first half. 17 – 0.

Danny Treharne secured the kick off and sprinted forward, before feeding the backs, along the line to youngster Ed Scott who finished the move, Warner adding the kick.24 – 5. Mark Hyde’s turn to receive the kick off, ran forward, Captain Danny Facer took the pass and brushed aside his defenders, Treharne was there again in support, receiving the ball and sprinting to the line, Warner again adding the conversion. 31 – 5. Pershore were awarded a couple of penalties opting to run them, Treharne intercepted the pass and broke forward, Fereday, on his shoulder, took the pass and bulldozed his way to the line, Warner adding the kick.38 – 5. With the game won, Pershore refused to buckle, the penalty count against Newbold was growing, pushing the home side back into their own 22, another series of penalties and Pershore broke for the line, touching down, unconverted. 38 – 12.Newbold failed to learn that upsetting the ref would lead to more penalties and Pershore continued to gain territory, eventually scoring another converted try.38 – 19. With ten minutes left on the clock, Newbold received the kick off, a clever cross field kick from Reed found Mann who raced forward, drawing the defence and letting the ball out to Warner, who continued forward returning the ball back to Mann who made the line, unconverted, 43 – 19. The kick offs had proved fruitful all afternoon and the final one was no different as Treharne fed Facer who made good ground before giving the ball to Reed, whose pacy run put stripped the defence to touch down, a cheeky litte drop goal to prove he can kick finished the game in style. 50 – 19.

A performance that showed plenty of spirit and some really good phases of play, a few lapses of concentration gave Pershore a couple of tries, however Newbold always looked confident of the result.

A big game for both Newbold and Old Laurentians on Saturday as both sides need the win to stay in contention for the league title. Newbold will hope to repeat their performance where they were comfortable winners at Parkfield Road, whilst Laurentians will be hoping to capitalise on home advantage. This will be a hugely supported game and Newbold will be counting on all their supporters being there. Your verbal support can make the difference.

U15s: Spartans 10

Newbold on Avon 12

Newbold got off to a bright start, but failed to capitalise. Camped in Spartans half, dropped passes, knock-ons and lethargic support killed any continuity with pressure on the opposition backline and crucial tackles keeping the scores level at Half time. Needing to up effort and concentration, a rather harsh sin binning (for ‘not 10’) early on caused distraction and Spartans bundled over (5-0). Finally playing with more purpose, an outbreak of individual quality changed the game. Mani received the ball in his own half and a strong run through countless defenders got him over - Ben slotting a tough kick to put ‘Bold ahead. Within minutes, strong work from Ollie saw Mani off again but just brought up short. Kyle was on hand to force himself over the line. A defensive lapse led to a late score but the lads held out for a 12-10 win. MOTM to Mani for both his tries and tackling.