Will it be an OLs v Newbold decider for the title?
Old Laurentians’ game against Nuneaton Old Edwardians two weeks ago was the first of the reverse fixtures in the 2014/15 league season and OLs knew that they needed a bonus point win to go into the festive season as league leaders in Midlands 2 West and with their unbeaten record intact - and the five points were won.
Next up is a trip to Old Coventrians on January 10 and after a 60-point win over the same side at home in September, OLs will be travelling as favourites, writes Bill Wallis.
With their year-end goal achieved they can look ahead to the remainder of the league season with confidence but with eyes constantly on the rear view mirror.
When the fixture planners set this season’s league programme they did so with uncanny foresight when they paired OLs and Newbold in the season’s opener - and in the very last game of the campaign.
That opening game produced a tense 16-16 draw at Fenley Field and when the sides next meet at Parkfield Road on April 11 it is quite conceivable that the league title will be at stake.
Newbold have lost just once since that opening game when Banbury lowered their colours in October, but have hit a rich vein of form since and sit just a point behind OLs in the league table. Banbury continue to keep close order, just four points off the lead and can’t be written off; but behind them in fourth, Pinley are 13 points adrift of OLs with a lot of ground to make up.
By the time the April showdown comes around, OLs will be hoping that their lengthy injury list has been reduced to manageable proportions.
A number of leading players are expected to return progressively in the New Year, but the news on lock Ben Anderson, one of the club’s key players, is that his serious leg break will see him out for the season. However, the 1st team squad players are stepping up to the mark very capably to maintain an excellent record.