RUGBY: Old Laurentians

Owen scores his first try
Owen scores his first try
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Win over Market Bosworth

Midlands 1 West

Shepherd rounds off the scoring

Shepherd rounds off the scoring

Old Laurentians 48

Market Bosworth 10

OLs rattled up four tries in the first thirty minutes to go 29-0 ahead and earn the try bonus point before Market Bosworth could get a foothold in this match, writes Bill Wallis.

But the visitors fought back in spirited fashion to register two tries of their own before half time and for the 40 minute spell spanning the break made a real contest of it.

OLs had first use of a brisk breeze and Dan O’Brien put over a penalty for an early lead. After ten minutes, Bosworth were attacking when the ball went loose on OLs 22 and was moved swiftly away to reach Joe Shore who took off for the line. Beating his opposite number on the outside the wing cut inside the full back and outpaced the covering defenders for a superb try after a run of fully 80 metres.

Three minutes later, a clearance kick by the visitors was fielded by Shore who linked with Jon Bean in midfield, the full back transferring the ball to Troy Owen on the opposite flank for the wing to run strongly to score. Then OLs conceded a scrum following Bosworth’s re-start but won it against the head and attacked from deep, Ben Shepherd denting the home defence before quick hands moved the ball to Shore who finished at pace for his second try.

After 27 minutes, Bean put in a long kick downfield, the Bosworth full back fielded it but was collared by lock forward Ben Anderson with a fine tackle; next up was his second row partner Paul Willis, who latched on to the loose ball and galloped over from 20 metres out. With O’Brien converting three of the tries, OLs were sitting pretty at 29-0 and the game was all but won.

But Bosworth had other ideas and in the ten minute period to half time hit back with two tries, the first touched down by hooker McWhirter after a strong forward drive from a lineout, the second added by centre Smith after slow ball in OLs 22 was fed to him. He stopped dead looking for options, spotted a gap and went through a wrong footed defence to touch down, leaving OLs 29-10 ahead at the break.

Spurred on by their success, Bosworth took the game to OLs in the second half, using the wind effectively to keep OLs pinned in their own half. The home side kept them at bay but it was 24 minutes in before they were able to add to their score, when Owen intercepted an ambitious pass on OLs 22 and ran clear to touch down for his second try. O’Brien improved the score and OLs were 36-10 ahead, but still Bosworth kept coming at them. Six minutes later, a Bosworth kick on half way ricocheted off one of their own players, Anderson seized the loose ball and in a flash was clear of the defence to run in under the posts, O’Brien adding the goal points for 43-10.

This finally broke the visitors’ resistance and OLs went back on to the offensive, the final try coming from Ben Shepherd who broke through a tiring defence to score after a sustained attacking spell.

The valuable points from this win lifted OLs clear of their nearest rivals in the league table, now six points clear of Malvern and five ahead of Barkers Butts, but having played a game more than both. So this Saturday’s visit to Barkers takes on massive significance in the battle to stay clear of the relegation zone. A bonus point win for OLs would leave Barkers trailing by ten points and a win for the Coventry side would put them in the strongest position. OLs go into the game with a marginally better recent record, having won five of their last six, their opponents chalking up three wins from five since the turn of the year. But all that will count for nought when the whistle blows at 3pm on Saturday!

Team: Jon Bean, Troy Owen, Iain Wallis, Ben Shepherd Joe Shore; Dan O’Brien, Richard Parker, Olly Cowley, Dom Hammond, Chris le Poidevin, Paul Willis, Ben Anderson, James Orbinson, Ben O’Riordan, Liam Deery

Replacements (all used): Lee Hersey, Aaron Metcalfe, Tom Gleghorn