Never-say-die attitude earns narrow win over Daventry
Rugby & District
Daventry 2nd XV 24
Old Laurentian 2nd XV 26
OLs booked themselves a semi-final spot in this year’s Clonmell Cup with a hard-fought win against stubborn opponents who dominated the game for long periods, writes David Middleton.
Daventry came out of the blocks the quicker and used their big forwards to hammer away at the OL’s defence and had soon registered their first converted score of the afternoon.
OLs looked like they were still in the changing room admiring the home club’s fine new facilities as Daventry continued to press and were soon two converted scores in front and in complete control as OLs struggled to find their rhythm.
OLs finally strung some meaningful phases together and when the ball found its way to Esworthy the wing showed great presence of mind and fine hands to put the ball back inside as the cover came across, Vince the grateful recipient. The conversion was missed but OLs at last had a foothold in the game.
Daventry replied almost immediately however, to score their third of the afternoon putting themselves 19-5 in front and giving OLs a mountain to climb.
This side are, however, resilient to say the least and on the stroke of half time Richard Parker went over under the posts and with White adding the conversion OLs were right back into the tie.
If the first half belonged to Daventry the second was OL’s as at last they started to find their groove, and when Parker showed his class to grab his second of the game White added the extras and it was all square.
OLs had their tails up and it was that man Hammond yet again in the right place at the right time who stormed over under the posts to give White a simple conversion, which he duly dispatched, and from 19-5 down OLs held the lead for the first time at 26-19.
This set up a grandstand finish as Daventry threw everything at OLs but time and again the defence held firm.
With time up, the Daventry centre forced his way over out wide, but with the kick to send the game into extra time drifting across the front of the posts the game was won.
This was a long way short of the kind of rugby OLs have been playing in recent weeks but once again their desire and never say die attitude earned them a deserved victory against a strong Daventry outfit.
Next up, in the semi-final, will be Long Buckby.