Old Leamingtonians Rugby Football Club
Senior Men's Match Report Saturday 3rd February 2018
League: Midlands 3 West (South)
Fixture: Shipston on Stour RFC 1st XV v Old Leamingtonians RFC 1st XV
Venue: Mayo Road, Shipston
Result: Shipston on Stour RFC 1st XV 12 - 32 Old Leamingtonians RFC 1st XV
A return to positive 15 man rugby saw Old Leamingtonians bounce back to winning ways through a dominant performance over high flying league leaders, Shipston on Stour, with a win that keeps them in third place and keeps alive the hopes of promotion.
Shipston dominated the first ten minutes of the game with a number of attacks that kept OLs on the defensive, but despite constant pressure on the OLs the defence held out with some solid tackling that gradually brought the game onto an even keel and from a Shipston infringement the resultant penalty kick took the game into touch in the home 22 metre area. The line out was well won and the OL forwards drove Shipston back with a number of pick-ups and drives into the goal area for second row Ollie Sarginson to touch down for the opening score. The try was converted by Henry Reynolds and shortly afterwards another Shipston infringement saw the same player increase the OLs lead to 10 points with a long range penalty.
Shipston kicked off straight into touch and from the resulting scrum down OLs continued to exert pressure on the home side. Following a series of forward drives well into the Shipston 22 metre area, the visitors forced the home side to concede another penalty 15 metres out from the goal line. Scrum half Mark Foley, seeing the home defence sleeping, took advantage with a quick tap penalty to dart over the line to score OLs second try. Half time was reached with OLs having a 15 point lead.
The second half saw OLs with the pitch slope advantage but it was Shipston that scored first with a push over try ten minutes into the half. The try was unconverted. This home try only triggered more pressure from OLs and with the forwards winning good ball and the three-quarters keeping the ball in hand some good periods of play saw the game concentrated in the Shipston half and following a passage of forward domination back row Felix Heath carved his way through the Shipston defence to score try number three between the posts. The try was converted.
OLs were by this time dominating the play and it was only a matter of time before more points followed. Both OLs wingers were coming more into the game and causing disruption with the ball being kept in hand by the three-quarters and being moved wide to both wings. From one such move, fullback Ciaran O’Connor came into the line passed the ball out to wing three-quarter Liam Wellings before taking a return pass to cross for try number four. The try was not converted.
Shipston were not finished however and took the game back to OLs from the re-start and a period of home pressure saw the OLs defence breached for a second try that was converted. The Shipston recovery did not last however and from another good flowing OLs move involving forwards and backs, the ball was moved out wide to winger Liam Wellings who burst through a number of defenders to touch down for try number five. This went unconverted but increased the OLs lead to 32 points to 12.
This was a good all round performance from OLs that maintained third place in the league and knocked Shipston off the top spot now occupied by Rugby St Andrews.
There is no 1st XV game next Saturday and the next match is at The Crofts on 17th February against Upton-on-Severn – kick off 2.15pm.
Report provide by Den Fisher
Updated 13:41 - 21 Feb 2018 by Chris McCarthy
OLRFC Press & Publicity Officer