RUGBY: New jerseys for Old Laurentians

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OLs start the season with a win

Midlands 2 West (South)

Old Laurentians 35 – Droitwich 13

Laurentians started their league programme with an emphatic win over a Droitwich side tipped by many to be amongst the front runners for league honours this season.

Perhaps inspired by the new jerseys generously sponsored by Webb Ellis, and formally presented by Lawrence Webb before the game, OLs had their first try on the board in less than a minute and never looked back, going on to dominate the game.

Jon Bean’s kick off was beautifully flighted to give the chasers every chance and Droitwich were forced to concede a scrum. Number 8 Carl Adams picked up at the base and sent scrum half Rich Ramsden scurrying over under the posts, Bean converting for a 7-0 lead.

Bean soon added to the early lead with a penalty before Walker got one back for Droitwich after a rare excursion into OL’s half. The game was to end early for Ramsden when he pulled a hamstring after 13 minutes, bringing James Collins on for an impressive league debut at scrum half.

Chris le Poidevin just failed to add to OL’s score after a surging 35 metre run to the line and Droitwich’s defensive skills were being given a searching examination as the pressure mounted.

The inevitable score came after 25 minutes when Lee Hersey, another league debutant, scorched over after excellent work in the build up by Bean and Matt Miller, Bean improving his try for 17-3.

As the half time break approached, OLs scored a fine try with a movement that covered most of the pitch. Deep in OL’s 22, Ben Anderson took one of many fine catches in the lineout and Bean sent Iain Wallis away. The centre made the first breach in the Droitwich defence before linking with Troy Owen near half way. OL’s wing carried on the movement powerfully to find Ben Wiles up in support, the full back speeding over for a try that lifted the score at half time to 22-3.

As the second half unwound OLs had the lion’s share of possession and territory and Droitwich were conceding regular penalties in the red zone, with a penalty try looking likely. Instead their centre was yellow carded for persistent infringement and Bean extended OL’s lead to 28-3 with two more penalties.

With the game won, OLs unaccountably relaxed for a ten minute spell near the end, allowing Droitwich over for two soft tries,

OLs were, still looking for their bonus point try, which came after another strong run by Owen had forced a lineout close to the visitors’ line. A clean catch by Anderson set up an irresistible drive for the line which Glenn Todd finished with the touch down, Bean adding the goal points.

A satisfying start to the league campaign, in front of a good crowd that included a number of former Webb Ellis Road regulars, all of whom will always be very welcome at Fenley Field.

This Saturday OLs travel to take on old friends and rivals Leamington in their quest for league points. This game is now also played for the Brian White Cup, in memory of a late stalwart of the Leamington club who also had close ties with OLs.