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Wednesday 20 February 2013 Updated: 20/02 16:44
Leamington 25 Dunlop 16
RESILIENT Leamington produced another solid performance to claim a deserved Midlands Two West (South) victory on Saturday which eased their relegation fears.
Nick Maxwell cajoled his pack of forwards into another polished display and this, together with the supreme effort from his back row and some scintillating attack play by the Spa backline, ensured sweet revenge for a heavy 82-17 defeat suffered at Dunlop in November.
The hosts began in confident mood, exerting intense pressure on the Dunlop defence. It was ultimately rewarded with a well-judged, long range 15th minute penalty from Tom Jewitt.
Almost from the restart Leamington increased their lead with a well worked try. Jewitt and John Raby exchanged quick passes and set Mark Baldwin on a run down the near flank.
As the Dunlop defence closed in, Baldwin set over a clever cross-kick, which was picked up by Tom Daplyn, who slipped a short pass to Danny Ruysevelt, enabling the back-row forward to crash over. Jewitt added the extras.
Spa strengthened their grip as a strong tackle from Daplyn gained possession on the far wing. Tom Jewitt sent in a clever chip which Alex Carroll latched onto, outstripped the defence and raced into score.
The visitors hit back strongly and reduced the interval arrears to 15-13 with a converted try and two penalties.
Dunlop began the second period with renewed confidence and penned Spa in their own 22. Daplyn put in a superb tackle to stem one attack and then Jewitt’s boot cleared Spa’s line to gain some respite.
However, Dunlop’s perseverance was rewarded with a penalty which gave them the lead for the first time.
The visitors were looking good value and asked the Spa defence some searching questions. It took a super break out by “Patch” Northover, followed by a driving run from Craig Smith, to give the home side a breather.
As the game entered the final quarter, Spa hit back with some enterprising play. They were awarded a scrum on the far side and as the ball was fed out, Northover put in the deftest of chips which skipper John Raby gathered and raced over to score.
Jewitt sent over another well-judged conversion before sealing victory with a late penalty.
Spa entertain Bedworth this Saturday (2.15pm).
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