OL's Beat Stourbridge Away

Stourbridge Lions 15 - 19 Old Leamingtonians

Last Updated: Mar 5, 2014 04:50pm
Blackdown, Warwick
By Hannah Leyland
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With the OL’s injury list growing,  the side selected to play high flying Stourbridge contained no less than four scrum halves, one on either wing and the returning Mark Foley in the centre.

For once of late the game kicked off in sunshine and almost perfect rugby conditions and it was OL’s that took the game to the hosts for the first 10 minutes and following good forward play prop Cairan Price forced his way over to open the scoring with an unconverted try.  This was a trigger to the home side and from this point on in  the first half they dominated the game and it was only desperate last line defence that prevented a number of tries after Stourbridge had been granted space and territory by a number of poor tackles in mid field and poor handling when tries looked certain.  After 20 minutes a long range penalty by Stourbridge reduced the arrears and this was quickly followed by a converted Stourbridge try to give the hosts a 10 points to 3half time lead.

The pattern of the game had developed to a period of dominance by the home side and the second half began with a further unvonverted Stourbridge try within a minute of the restart. From this point on OL’s began to exert pressure and dominated the game for the next half an hour but without success, with the forwards consistently winning their own ball, and stealing possession from the heavier Stourbridge pack, it was only loose delivery to the backs at critical times that led to a lack of positive opportunities in the home 22 metre area.

As the game went on the OL’s pack became more dominant and created indiscipline in the home forwards to such an extent that numerous penalties were awarded to the visitors but the home forwards thwarted any attempt by OL’s to cross the goal line, often using unfair methods that led first to a yellow card for the Stourbridge number 8, and subsequently to a penalty try for repeated offending.  This was converted to bring OL’s back within one score.

OL’s continued to dominate and from further forward pressure good ball was won and passed out along the threequarter line and a break through the defending home side saw debutant full back Ben Gilbert take a well timed pass to score under the posts. He converted his try as he had done with the penalty try to give OL’s a four point leading cushion.

The last five minutes of the game saw Stourbridge come right back into the game and take the game back to the OL’s and it was tremendous defence again that prevented any further score.

This was a welcome win after a losing sequence and assures OL’s of Midlands 2 west rugby next season.

Next week sees OL’s travel to Spartans – kick off 3.0pm.

Photo: file pic



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