Great performance by OLs Colts but 2nds out of county shield
Old Laurentians 3rds v Harbury 2nds: OLs were unlucky at times not to get on the board against a strong Harbury side, eventually going down 29-0. There's just a few pictures from the game in Mike Baker's slideshow.
Old Laurentian Colts 43 Barkers Butts Colts 10
An otherwise drab and damp Saturday was illuminated by a vibrant Colts game at Fenley Field when the two teams put on a performance to satisfy even the most critical observer, writes Bill Wallis.
Barkers arrived short of a full team but OLs loaned them players to level up the teams numerically, one consequence being that scrums were uncontested as the visitors couldn’t field an experienced front row.
But the Barkers team contributed fully to a match that never slackened in pace, on occasions forcing the home team to demonstrate that their defensive play matches their attacking flair.
As a result of the majority of them coming through the mini and junior ranks together, this OL’s squad have an almost intuitive understanding of each other’s play. Their running and support play is outstanding at times, the whole 15 comfortable and assured with ball in hand.
Although this was very much a team effort, the contribution made by fly half Danny Price was immense as he ran in three tries and kicked four conversions for a personal tally of 23 points.
Although two of those tries were very much the result of excellent build up play by the team, the third was an outstanding solo effort when he ran in from some 60 metres without a hand laid on him.
OLs had 19 points on the board in the first 20 minutes, Price, wing Rafa Cruz and scrum half Harry Lummis all crossing for tries, Price improving two of them. Price added a second after excellent combination with Matt O’Connor, then turned provider when a finely judged kick set centre Sam McCosker-New up for a well taken touch down.
Barkers fought hard to stay in the game, launching a number of attacks themselves that brought out the best in OL’s defensive play and earned their reward with a well taken try.
The second half, almost inevitably after the fireworks of the first, saw the scoring rate slow. Hooker Tom Jempson crossed for a try and Price weighed in with his solo effort. OLs perhaps became a little over-ambitious in the complexity of their attacking play, but they were quite entitled to try a few things with a commanding lead, and Barkers were rewarded for their sterling efforts with a second try. The Colts have a full programme of games through the season, which continues with a visit to Earlsdon this Saturday.
Warwickshire 2nd XV Shield, Preliminary Round
Old Laurentian 2nd XV 13 Silhillians 2nd XV 38
OLs went into this Warwickshire Shield fixture confident of carrying on their unbeaten start to the season, writes Garrie Reeve.
Fixtures against Sillhillians are never easy, and this was to be the case on this occasion and for the first 15 minutes of this tie neither team scored in what was a highly competitive start to the match.
OL’s were first to score on 17 minutes. An attacking line out won on the Sils’ 10 metre line was quickly passed out to the backs where Ben Shepherd embarked on a trademark midfield run and broke clear of the Sils’ defence and raced away to score an unconverted try in the corner.
Unable to capitalise on having more possession and territory than their opponents. OLs were to allow Sils back into the game. With the defensive rock of James Melvin lying injured on the floor. Sils breached the OL’s line to score under the OL’s posts for a 5-7 lead.
Another try for Sils followed shortly after on the half hour as OLs struggled to regroup after the loss of Melvin to injury. Will Adam did however reduce OL’s arrears almost immediately as he struck a well placed penalty through the Sils’ posts to make the score 8-12.
Sils, however, did not look like relinquishing their lead anytime soon and they were to capitalise on injuries and unfamiliarity within OL’s back line to score another converted try shortly before halftime. But this was not the last score of the first half as Adam, excellently finished off a fine passage of OL’s play in the corner to leave his side firmly in contention, 13-19 at half time.
Try as they might. OL’s could not force their way past a stubborn Sils’ defence. Again, injuries were to take their toll on a tiring OL’s side and when Sils scored their fourth try shortly before the hour mark, an OL’s comeback looked unlikely.
Characteristically OLs never gave up. Spurred on by their more experienced players, they looked to have reduced the Sils’ lead. However, too much side spin on an Andy Thorne pass was judged to take it forward with Will Adam looking certain to score his second try.
This was to be OL’s last real contribution to the match, Sils finally ending any OL’s hope of a comeback with two late tries to wrap up the victory and progress to the next round.
The final score was a little harsh on OLs in what was a highly competitive cup tie. However, this should not take anything away from a Sillhillians side that simply showed more organisation and desire than their opponents.