Old Leamingtonians RFC 1st XV 42 - 12 Upton on Severn RFC 1st XV
Old Leamingtonians Rugby Football Club
Senior Mens' Match Report Saturday 17th February 2018
League: Midlands 3 West (South)
Old Leamingtonians RFC 1st XV v Upton on Severn RFC 1st XV
Venue The Crofts, Bericote road
Result: Old Leamingtonians RFC 1st XV 42 - 12 Upton on Severn RFC 1st XV
Old Leamingtonians continued their run of good form with a 6 try victory over a well drilled Upton side that competed strongly but couldn’t cope with the fast running OLs three-quarters or create enough structured moves to penetrate the strong home defence.
The game kicked off with OLs taking early control and after only five minutes of play Upton infringed inside the 22 metre area to concede a penalty that fly half Henry Reynolds converted to open the scoring. Upton hit back and from a deep kick-off the game was played inside the home 22 metre area and within a further two minutes the visitors had crossed the home goal line for a converted try. This score, against the run of early play, spurred OLs on and the game pressure was now back on Upton. The OL forwards were using the pick and drive game to good effect well into the opposition half and from a well won ruck inside the 22 metre area the ball was quickly fed along the line for centre David Canning to cross for the first of OLs tries on the 12 minute mark. The conversion was pushed wide but the home side were back in front at 8 - 7.
The match evened out for the next period play but despite Upton winning good ball the OLs cover defence was a match for all that was thrown at them and on the 20 minute mark, similar forward pressure that led to the first try saw OLs well into the opposing 22 metre area before full back Bradley James came into the line and forced his way over for try number two. Henry Reynolds added the conversion to make the score 15 - 7.
The game was now being dictated by OLs and further pressure on the visiting defence enabled another forward drive following a line out on the 5 metre line that ended with scrum half Mark Foley collecting the ball and being forced over by the pack for try number three. This try was converted by Henry Reynolds. With half time approaching further pressure saw OLs again in a strong attacking position and second row Joe Tallamini collected a pass and ran through the visitors defence to touch down try number 4. The conversion attempt was pushed wide but a penalty in front of the posts converted by Henry Reynolds saw OLs into the half way park with a lead of 30 points to 7 and a bonus point in the bag.
The second half saw Upton with wind and sun advantage and the game was equally shared for the first 20 minutes and it was the visitors that opened the second half scoring with a well-constructed and well taken unconverted try wide out on the right of the field.
This try again spurred OLs into a higher gear and the game swung back into the Upton half of the field. The OLs forwards were gaining control and the free running OLs three-quarters were moving the ball amongst themselves well and it was only desperate defence by Upton that prevented a number of tries being scored. The fifth OLs try did come from a period of attack well into the Upton 22 area when the ball was quickly fed out from the forwards and a well-judged cross field kick saw full back Bradley James collect and cut through the retreating Upton defence to touch down. The conversion was missed.
With five minutes to go OLs continued to dominate both in attack and defence and another period of solid forward play took the ball well into the Upton 22 and from a loose kick out of defence the ball was collected by Bradley James who ran into the Upton defence before slipping the ball inside to winger Ciaran O’Connor who ran in touch down for try number 6 beneath the posts. The added conversion by Henry Reynolds saw the game end on a solid performance from OLs with a 42 points to 12 victory.
This keeps OLs in third spot in the league and challenging still for promotion. The next game is on 3rd March 2018 away to Alcester with a 3.0pm kick off. .
Report by Den Fisher
2 Photos by Tim Nunan. 1. David Canning and 2. Ciaran O’Connor
OLRFC Press & Publicity Officer