Another, polished, professional performance by Leamington
Spa took the lead with some exquisite play, engineered by two of their youngsters. “Patch” Northover broke through with a probing run and found Lewis Kelsey in support.
Another, polished, professional performance by Leamington, finally got the reward it deserved, and saw the “Moorefields” men complete the “double” over high riding Whitchurch, on away turf.
Spa had to endure an early onslaught from the hosts and quickly conceded a converted try. Jim Robertson then replied with an incisive run down the far wing. He then reduced the arrears with a well judged penalty.
The hosts then returned with another period of pressure and first Danny Ruysevelt and then Gordon Jackon had to pull off a couple of strong tackles. During this time, Whitchurch increased their lead with a penalty goal.
The game was being played at a high tempo, with both sides keen to attack. This is just what Spa needed as it gave them the room to put together some fast and flowing rugby. Tom Secher was beginning to make inroads with some darting runs at fly half. His clever movement was helping Spa make ground and they were getting further support from Jackson in the centre, who was always on the look out to dent the home defence.
Spa took the lead with some exquisite play, engineered by two of their youngsters. “Patch” Northover broke through with a probing run and found Lewis Kelsey in support. In one swift movement the wing forward took the pass and out foxed the defenders by slipping the ball on to Simon Dudley, with superb timing. The wing did the rest and raced in under the posts. Robertson quickly despatched the conversion.
As expected the home side hit back and this time Adam Preece was on hand to stop one attack then centre, Alex Carroll brought off a “smother” tackle under the posts to halt another promising move.
In the final minutes of the half Jackson once again showed his strength with a try saving tackle in the near corner. Then the big centre was on hand to carry the ball on, following an excellent break by Secher. His run up the wing was just halted by a fortunate push into touch by a grateful home defender.
Half time: 10 – 13
The opening minutes of the half saw Spa concede a “penalty- try” and thus lose the lead. This seemed to galvanise the side, and Robertson was soon to reduce the deficit with another well judged penalty goal.
Spa were playing with plenty of confidence and retook the lead with some more super rugby. Alex Carroll was about to be closed down and with options limited, he sent up an inviting chip kick, which sent the home defence into utter confusion. Robertson was first on the scent and as one defender thought he had cleared the danger, Jackson hit him with a thundering tackle. Unable to clear the situation, Jackson latched on to the ball and charged over to score. Further reward came Spa’s way for their endeavour. This time a quickly taken penalty by Northover caused the damage and Simon Dudley was again on hand to race in under the posts. Robertson once again obliged with the conversion.
Spa were certainly putting on a strong performance and it mirrored those of the previous week’s that had gone un-rewarded.
In the final seconds of the game, the hosts put in a final throw and achieved a converted score. However, today there was only going to be one winner.
Full time: 24 – 28
Next week, Spa travel Nuneaton Old Edwardians, kick-off 3.00pm.