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A great start for Old Leamingtonians

Droitwich 28 - Old Leamingtonians 33

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2013 10:49am
Blackdown, Warwick
By Denis Fisher
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OL’s began the new season’s campaign with a visit to Droitwich and came away with a hard earned win against a strong Droitwich side. 

In a game that saw the lead change several times it was OL’s that took the initial play to the host team and following a succession of forward mauls OL’s gained a penalty that full back Angus Rose converted from 35 yards to give OL’s first score.  This was quickly wiped out by Droitwich converting a long range penalty to level. With play being equally divided and taking place mainly in the middle areas of the field Rose converted a second penalty to move ahead again, only for the score to return to level with a second Droitwich penalty conversion.

After 20 minutes of play with neither side having threatened the opposition goal line a defensive lapse by OL’s allowed Droitwich to cross out wide and run the ball back behind the posts for a try that was converted to give the home side the lead for the first time.  The game continued to be played in mid field for periods with neither side gaining try scoring opportunities but well won forward ball by OL’s almost on half time saw the ball swiftly moved out along the three quarters for full back Rose to enter the line and cross in the corner for a well taken unconverted try. This was quickly followed by another long range penalty from Rose to reach half time with OL’s having a one point lead at 14 points to 13.

The second half was equally shared with both teams playing entertaining rugby and looking to create flowing rugby with OL’s defence thwarting the heavy Droitwich forwards time and time again with some superb tackling and ball retrieval.  From one such move the ball was won wide out and quick ball from captain Jason Healey was fed to winger Paul Salvin who’s strong direct run saw him cross and run the ball in behind the posts for a converted try to give OL’s an eight point cushion.

Droitwich came back strongly and put considerable pressure on the OL’s defence and it paid off with a converted try wide out for the home side to reduce the lead to one point. Following this with a penalty from 40 metres Droitwich again took the lead but it was OL’s that hit back strongly and from a line out deep in the Droitwich 22 metre area, a catch and drive saw back row Tom Heslop cross for try number three.  The conversion was missed.  OL’s continued to exert pressure on the Droitwich defence with good forward and backs moves, and from good ball won in mid field, fly half Dave Canning broke the Droitwich defence and out-ran the chasing defenders to touch down for try number four and OL’s first bonus point of the season. Converted by Angus Rose it gave OL’s a 10 point cushion going into the last 10 minutes but it was Droitwich that came back with strong pressure and with OL’s excellent defence spoiling move after move the home side managed to break through on only one occasion to reduce the OL’s lead but the game ended with OL’s having achieved a well earned victory with a bonus point.

This was an all round good display from OL’s with the forwards playing exceptional rugby and with the back row superb throughout. Fly half Dave Canning had a good game linking his backs well and full back Rose had a good day with his penalties and conversions.

Next Saturday sees Dunlop visit The Crofts, kick off 3.0pm.

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