Warwickshire Sevens League
Old Laurentians staged the first round of the Warwickshire 7s League at Fenley Field on Saturday but it was a very useful Earlsdon squad who claimed maximum points, beating OLs in the decider.
After Old Coventrians failed to turn up for the event, the first round was reduced to four clubs, Barkers Butts and Broadstreet joining OLs and Earlsdon to provide an entertaining afternoon’s sport in front of a healthy crowd.
Earlsdon comfortably disposed of Broadstreet in the opener before OLs faced Barkers and ran in seven tries for an easy win. Danny Murch and Simon Bayliss claimed two apiece with Ben Anderson, Ben O’Riordan and Dan Ford adding to the tally.
After Earlsdon overcame Barkers, Broadstreet were next up for OLs and pushed them all the way before the home side came through for a narrow win. Dom Hammond and Simon Bayliss (2) were OLs scorers, setting up a winner takes all clash with Earlsdon.
In the decider, OLs reached half time with a 14-7 lead, courtesy of two excellent Murch tries, and looked to be on course for maximum points from the afternoon’s endeavours. But Earlsdon had other ideas and ran in three unanswered tries in the second period to finish with a comfortable 28-14 win and top spot in the league in week 1.
With a squad of 12 players, OLs brought on all five available replacements at half time in each match to ensure everyone had equal time on the pitch. But this tactic nearly misfired in the Broadstreet encounter and proved to be their undoing in the decider with Earlsdon as they lost all cohesion and shape after a comfortable first half in each case.
With Barkers beating Broadstreet in the day’s last game, the latter finished bottom after this first round, a surprising outcome for the most senior club on view.
After Old Coventrians no show, they will be replaced by Leamington for the remaining four weeks of the league and they will host the next round at their Moorefields ground on Friday evening.