RUGBY UNION: A COMPLETE performance by Old Leamingtonians saw the home side score eight tries, five conversions and three successful penalties to provide the Bericote Road crowd with a match to remember against Old Wheatleyans, reports Denis Fisher.
OLs made a welcome return to winning ways following an impressive 59-5 win on Saturday as they moved to within two points of fifth-placed Shipston on Stour in the Midlands 3 West (South).
From the kick off the home side took the game to the visitors but they failed to turn good possession into points due to hurried passing and solid defence by the Old Wheat’s forwards.
After ten minutes the pressure paid off when 18-year-old forward Ollie Sarginson touched down after a solid maul to register the first try of the match.
It was the visitors who scored next when a rare visit into OLs territory ended on the half hour of play with a well taken try that went unconverted.
For all of OLs’ possession and territorial advantage, the game was evenly balanced at this stage, however that changed dramatically in the last five minutes of the half.
First centre Liam Wellings gathered the ball inside his own half and burst through tackle after tackle to run in a try and minutes later he did exactly the same thing again but this time he passed the ball to Tom Eales to touch down.
One of the three OLs tries was converted to give the home side a 17-5 lead at the mid-way point.
The second half saw OLs play some of their best rugby of the season as they dominated play and kept Old Wheat’s camped inside their own half.
The visitors’ defence was put under extreme pressure resulting in two kickable penalties that Bradley James converted.
The next score came from another break from defence by full back Brad James who collected the ball deep in his own half before completely side-stepping the oncoming Old Wheat’s defence to provide centre Tom Hyam with the easiest of chances to run in try number four, which was converted and the bonus point was secured.
Another infringement by Old Wheat’s under pressure saw James add a third penalty and within minutes another sweeping move saw passes interchanged a number of times and winger Adam Stannard ran in for try number five, which was also converted.
Sam Brittain was next on the scoresheet, running in try number six after picking up at the back of a maul and charging through a now tiring Old Wheat’s 15.
Two more excellent tries followed. The first from replacement Paul Salvin who simply swept through the defence in a cross field run to touch down under the posts and the final try was scored by Tom Smith who collected a loose ball and made a similar run to touch down for try number eight.
Both tries were converted to give OLs a resounding victory and their biggest of the season so far.
OLs maintain their sixth position in the table and travel to Rugby St Andrews on Saturday.