RUGBY UNION: OLD Leamingtonians fell to only their second defeat of the season after losing out 17-22 to unbeaten Midlands 3 West (South) leaders Droitwich.
Droitwich approached Saturday’s game at The Crofts with the confidence of eight straight league wins and it was obvious from the kick off that they intended to use a heavy forward pack to try to dominate the game.
For the first 20 minutes the match was spent mostly in the OLs half of the field, but OLs were equal to the early onslaughts with a display of defensive rugby that matched every Droitwich attack and the visitors only had three points to their name after 20 minutes.
On 35 minutes good forward pressure saw the ball moved quickly along the line to winger Liam Wellings who forced his way through two defensive tackles to run in for a well contrived OLs try between the posts, which was converted by Bradley James.
It looked as though OLs may end the first half with a narrow lead but a harsh refereeing decision saw Droitwich awarded a penalty try almost on the stroke of half time which was converted for 7-10.
Within minutes of the re-start another well worked sweeping move by OLs saw the ball moved quickly along the line for overlapping winger Adam Stannard to cross the line but this time the conversion attempt was pushed wide.
Droitwich’s forward play paid off with their second try following a number of rolling mauls ending with the OLs defence being pushed back over the line for a converted try that took them into a five point lead.
This was cancelled out almost immediately by OLs’ captain Bradley James who collected a loose defensive kick just inside his own half, cut through the Droitwich defence and ran the ball 40 yards into the corner for the try of the game. The conversion was missed but the scores were level at 17-17.
The remainder of the game was evenly matched but it was Droitwich that sealed the game late on with another forward dominated try. The conversion was missed but despite plenty of late pressure by OLs another score was not forthcoming.