Warwickshire Shield 1st Round - Old Laurentians 40 - 37 Southam
A heady start to the season
Southam started the season on course with a good showing on the rock hard pitch at Old Laurentians. The game was end to end stuff, with both sides showing start of season nerves in the sapping 25°C heat.
Southam started the brighter with some good work from No8 Dylan Pink and wing Finn Wilde, but a loss of concentration allowed OLs an overlap on the halfway and the OLs winger broke through, he was brought down by full back Jon Lowden in the 22, but after a quick recycle, the Southam defence was ragged and the OLs No4 went through for the converted try. Southam quickly replied from a perfect hanging kickoff from centre Harry Hewson and 2nd row Matt Taylor rose to secure it and the forwards drove it on into OLs 22. The ball was spread and fly half Tom Grimes jinked though and was in bar a last ditch tap tackle, Southam secured and spread to Hewson, who tipped the pass onto wing Joe Bagshaw for the try. From the kickoff, Taylor took it well and wing forward Robbie Shepherd drove out of the 22, scrum half Josh Tolley box kicked and under a good kick chase OLs fumbled, Grimes picked up on the OLs 10m, rounded the defence and fed Tolley, who went up the line for a try in the corner. At 17 minutes, OLs replied with a penalty on the 22 for a high tackle. The game was still high tempo, but no score until 30 minutes in, when Lowden stepped through the OL's backs on the 22 and was just held up on the line, Southam stayed calm and recycled twice for prop Charlie Gilkes to drive over for the try, converted by Lowden. At 34 minutes OL's kicked a penalty for touch in the Southam 22, with a neat lineout move, the 2 jumper fed the ball straight back to the hooker, who went down the line for the try. Southam again won the KO and ball was spread fast to Grimes, he stepped through the gap, drew the full back and fed Lowden for the try, converted by Tolley. OL's came back again and kicked a penalty for mouth into the Southam 22 for a lineout. From the lineout the ball was spread and a missed tackle let OL's centre through the back line, he drew the last man and fed the supporting winger for a try.
HT 22 - 24
Southam started the 2nd half well driving hard into the OL's 22 only for a 70m interception to let OL's take the lead with a converted try under the posts. OL's extended their lead, when Southam were forced to play a speculative bouncing kick into touch on the 5m. From the lineout, OL's drove hard and and got the try. After a quiet 20 minutes Southam got some go forward and forced a penalty on the OL's 22 for offside, converted by Tolley, 6 minutes later Tolley bagged another on the 22 for offside at the ruck. From the KO, OL's replied with a penalty for not releasing. On 42 minutes OL's extended their lead with a long range penalty for going in at the side of the ruck (no way). At the death Southam got back into to the OL's 22 and from a penalty for mouth, back row James Lloyd, took a quick penalty and went for the line, prop Andy Barnes supported and was stopped at the line, the ball was recycled and Hewson stepped for the line, was held up, but fed a supporting Gilkes for his second, converted by Tolley making the score 40 - 37. Southam tried to get back, but were penalised for mouth and OL's kicked it dead.
FT 40 -37
This was a good start of season game with a lot of positives for Southam, the good kickoff chases (and wins), some precision kicking by Josh Tolley, good lineout work for Taylor and Toner and solid scrums. Overall if they could have taken the tight harassing defence and the kickoff restarts of 1st half into the 2nd half they might well have got the win.
MOTM Harry Hewson
Next Week (Saturday Sept 8th) :-
1sts Home v Barkers Butts (League)
2nds Away v Barkers Butts (League)