OLs in sparkling form on Saturday
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 2 East (South)
Old Laurentians 33
OLs were in sparkling form on Saturday against a good Oundle side who pushed the home team hard throughout and always threatened, but the try count of five to two in favour of OLs reflects their superiority over the whole 80 minutes, writes Bill Wallis.
The foundations for OLs’ win were laid by their pack who were dominant in all phases of play, supplying a constant flow of possession for an eager back line to play an open and expansive game.
OLs half backs James Collins and Jon Bean used the plentiful possession to run the game and either bring their backs into play or for Bean to use his boot to pin Oundle back.
After a bright start by OLs, it was Oundle who scored first when scrum half Steenberg put over a penalty for an early 3-0 lead. But OLs riposte was swift, Ben Wiles weaving over for a try from 15 metres out and Bean converting for a 7-3 lead. Unfortunately, that marked the end of the game for Wiles as OLs’ skipper limped off with a leg injury, Richard Parker replacing him at centre.
A sharp break by Collins almost led to a try by Jordan Bunn, the wing being forced into touch just short of the line as OLs upped the pressure.
Full back Grant Inch is always looking for attacking opportunities and came into the line some 30 metres out to weave through the defence and go over under the posts, despite the close attention of several defenders. Bean again added the goal points to lift OLs’ lead to 14-3.
Steenberg got three points back for Oundle with his second penalty before OLs returned to the attack and won a penalty on the visitors’ 22. Bean found touch 15 metres out, OLs won the ball cleanly and drove for the line, James Orbinson claiming the touch down for Bean to convert and lift the lead to 21-6 just five minutes before half time.
After Oundle had held off another spell of OLs pressure early in the second half, they reminded the home side that they were still very much in this game when number 8 Shingles powered over from a lineout, Steenberg converting to reduce the margin to 21-13.
When an attempted Oundle clearance was run back by OLs, a break by Bean was held in the 22, the ball was quickly recycled and moved left for James Orbinson to go over for his second try. Bean’s conversion attempt unluckily bounced back from the crossbar but OL’s lead was lifted to 26-13.
OLs continued on the offensive and after a strong run through midfield by Ben Scott, the ball was moved left where Mark Todd’s attempted offload 15 metres out, with the try line beckoning, was deliberately knocked on by Oundle’s left wing and he was yellow carded. Oundle succeeded in keeping the home side scoreless for the duration of the sin binning before going back on the offensive themselves, taking a quick penalty in the home 22 for centre Davies to go over. The conversion attempt missed for OLs to remain comfortably ahead at 26-18.
The home side dominated affairs for the remaining ten minutes and a strong spell of attacking pressure was rewarded when Collins jinked over, the try capping a fine individual performance by the scrum half. Bean added the goal points to the try to finish the scoring.
A highly satisfying performance which capped a good day for the club, the 2nd XV coming away from Barkers Butts with the spoils and the 3rds overcoming Daventry 3rds at Fenley Field.
The 1st XV have a break this Saturday, with a bye in the 1st round of the Midlands Intermediate Cup, and return to league action on October 1 when they travel to take on Peterborough.
Team: Grant Inch, Jordan Bunn, Troy Owen, Ben Wiles, Ben Scott; Jon Bean, James Collins; Mark Todd, Dom Hammond, Ollie Cowley; Ben Anderson, Ben O’Riordan; Charlie Seager, James Orbinson, Andrew Orbinson.Reps (all used): Richard Parker, Robin Corrigan, Leigh Fisher.
Scorers: Tries: Ben Wiles, James Orbinson (2), Grant Inch, James Collins. Cons: Jon Bean (4)