OLD NORTHAMPTONIANS 5-66 LONGTON
With so many players unavailable,the ONs gave debuts to Jamie Blackmore and Robbie Wright
and featured four of the squad playing in unfamiliar positions.Richard Blank
started at full back,Jake Spencer on the wing,hooker Jordan Brew
at prop and back rower Matt Mills at centre.Jason Edmunds
received a late call up and rather than taking his place at scrum half for the B XV completed his first 1st XV game for several seasons.
The ONs played their first game in National League 3 Midlands in September 2010 against Longton at Longton and it was perhaps appropriate that this last fixture of their two seasons at level five should be against the same opposition and at the same venue.
The ONs had beaten Longton 29-14 in the match at Billing Road earlier in the season but since then Longton had won fifteen times to confirm fourth place whilst the ONs had won just three games and drawn one.
Longton kicked off with the advantage of the strong wind and won an early penalty, the ONs managing to win the lineout from the kick to touch and scramble the ball clear but a poor pass was snaffled by the prolific Longton centre Hendry Vaka and he powered over for the first of his three tries,which took his seasons tally to 20.Scott Rawlings converted and he went on to add a further six successful kicks to the 9 tries scored by the home side with Vaka adding the other.The ONs were struggling to gain a foothold in the game with only a delicate chip over the defence by Rory Seymour
,which he regathered before finding support,threatening the Longton line.Longton on the other hand were constantly breaking the first up tackle and with four further tries took their half time advantage to 33-0.
This margin was increased with another converted try before Rhys Hughes was yellow carded for a barge on Longton prop Craig Wilson,who was busy all afternoon putting the punches in and when Wilson was at last binned ,a 25 metre catch and drive by the ONs resulted in a try from Zac Draper.Further scores from Longton took them to 66 points but the ONs never gave up and they finished strongly but were unable to add to their solitary try.
,Jake Spencer,Kieran O’Connor,Matt Mills,Matt Ireland
,Jamie Blackmore,Sam Howes
57mins),Rhys Hughes,Zac Draper,Ralph Rainbow