Leamington 29 - 22 Southam
Southam nearly overcome 7 changes to win at Leamington
Southam started the New Year with an local derby match against Leamington with another rejigged team due to injury and availability.
Southam had to start strong as Leamington had the wind and bar an early break
from captain Will Grindal that got Southam to within 5 metres, lack of possesion meant Southam had to put in some strong defence for 15 minutes and were holding strong until a Leamington kick skirted the line for 40m and then a wayward pass from the base, gave Leamington the advantage with a push over try from the scrum and the conversion, 5 minutes later Leam were penalised for a high tackle 10m out and after a bit of handbags, when Leam would not release the ball, the Leam wing was yellow carded. Southam took the lineout, drove in the middle and with a quick recycle, spread the ball to fly half Harry Hewson who put in a long pass out to returning full back Lewis Dodds who fed wing Nathan Hooker and he was clear for the try, converted by Grindal. Southam were strong in defence for the rest of the the half and finished it with a Grindal penalty on the 22 for not rolling away.
HT 7 - 10
Leamington started the second half the better and Southam had to defend their own line for a full 15 minutes before securing a penalty. From the resulting lineout Hewson put up a high kick and with a strong chase centre Will Clarke juggled the ball on the run to collect on the halfway and then win the footrace all the way to score under the posts, converted by Grindal. Southam then had their worst period of the match and lack of concentration allowed Leamington back into the game. On 20 minutes, missed tackles on Southam 10m allow a runner through and although he was brought down on the line, they recycled and snook under for the converted try. Straight from the kickoff missed tackles let Leamington straight through again to score a converted try under the posts. Leam continued scoring with a pen in front posts for tackling without the ball. With 15 minutes to go Southam started to get back in the game, but were pegged back when 2nd row Rich LLoyd was was yellow carded for a late tackle on fly half and the kick or kick penalty got Leam a line out close to the Southam line, Southam did not compete, but the ref ignored the blatant truck and trailer offence and the ball was spun out and weak tackling let Leamington through for another converted try. To finish the the game Southam put in some good phases and got some go forward. Dodds was put in to touch 5m out, but Southam ripped the ball from the lineout maul and prop Charlie Gilkes showed some slick hands to feed hooker Elliot Cook into space and he scored in the corner.
FT 29 - 22
Pre match with the change of 7 players from the Kenilworth match, Southam might have settled for the losing bonus point, but the potential was there and but for the 15 minutes of loss of concentration the game was theirs to win.
MOTM Pete Burnell
Next weeks games :- 1sts Home v Berkswell & Balsall
Sat Jan 13th KO2.15 2nds Home v Berskwell & Balsall