RUGBY UNION: LEAMINGTON fell to a fifth defeat of the season in the Midlands 2 West (South) league away at Spartans – a place they have always seemed to struggle in recent years.
The injuries continued to pile up for Leamington with Tom Daplyn and Danny Ruyssevelt forced to withdraw from Saturday’s 28-19 defeat.
The hosts fluffed their lines in the opening minutes of the match by spurning a kick at goal near the Leamington line and the lapse was soon to prove costly.
After losing the ball in midfield and with the Leamington defence up on them sharply, Spartans fumbled the ball, giving Garrett Bell just the room he needed to sweep in, take possession and race in to score. Tom Jewitt knocked over the conversion attempt to give his side a seven point lead on eight minutes.
On the quarter hour, with Leamington on the attack, they allowed Spartans to intercept the ball and move it swiftly up the field which ended with a score in the corner.
The hosts then moved ahead when they once again forced their way through some indifferent Leamington defending, claiming a converted score.
Leamington were fortunate to have talisman and skipper, Craig Smith in top form and he was called up on time and again to clear up untidy possession at the base of the scrum, thus allowing Northover some room to manoeuvre the backline into attack as it remained 10-7 at half-time.
Leamington had a problematic opening to the second period after conceding a penalty and a converted score within the first six minutes.
They tried to respond and looked to have created another opening when when Jewitt fed winger Garrett Bell with the sweetest of offloads, only for it to be judged forward.
Spartans increased their lead with another penalty and followed it up with a try and at this stage it looked as though a big score could be on the cards for them.
But Leamington finished the game firmly in control and got themselves back on the scoresheet thanks to new boy Barney Lewis was soon in tune with his fellow forwards and reacted first when the try line came into sight by getting the ball down, but Jewitt’s dipping conversion attempt was just off target.
This score galvanised the Leamington squad as they set about achieving at least one aim of picking up a bonus point.
Another Leamington attack saw Craig Smith claim possession which allowed his forwards the room to set up another unstoppable drive. As the line appeared, second-row, Tom Lane was in at the death to claim the score. This time, Jewitt nailed the conversion attempt and suddenly his side were just one try away from a possible two bonus points.
Time was now against Leamington and despite more direct running from Garrett Bell and more creative work from the pack, they were unable to breakdown the stubborn, albeit now very wobbly, home defence.