Result: Old Leamingtonians RFC 1st XV 45 - 19 Coventry Welsh RFC 1st XV
Another six try haul saw OLs continue their good start to the new season with a comfortable win over Coventry Welsh but it was not as easy as the score might suggest.
The match kicked off under a blazing September sun and the first half saw the home side taking advantage with high balls into the visiting defence that kept the game firmly camped inside the Coventry Welsh half of the field.
The Old Leams three-quarters were again in good form and the ball was constantly being played out wide committing Coventry Welsh to full time defence. On the eight minute mark a flowing move by the OLs backs was finished by winger Calum Semple who crossed for the first of OLs six tries. The conversion was successful. Two minutes later fly half Bradley James scored the best try of the game when he collected the ball 40 metres from the visitors’ goal line and seeing a gap in the defence cut through for a searing run to touch down between the posts. He converted his own score to push OLs into a 14 point advantage. Five minutes later OLs added a third try, this time coming from another flowing three-quarter move that saw right wing Liam Wellings crash through three defending tackles to touch down. Again the conversion was successful.
The game was continued with Coventry Welsh using crash ball tactics that forced OLs onto the defence and saw the visitors come more into the game but an infringement by the visiting pack gave Brad James the opportunity to increase the home side lead with a well taken 40 metre penalty. With half time approaching OLs went off the boil and allowed Coventry Welsh to enjoy a period of dominance that resulted in the visiting forwards claiming a late first half try that was converted to bring the half time whistle with OLs enjoying a lead of 24 points to 7.
The second half started with Coventry Welsh again dictating play through their forwards and crash ball tactics but it was OLs that claimed the next score when centre Henry Reynolds intercepted a pass and ran the ball in for try number four between the posts. The conversion followed.
The game continued with OLs playing whole team rugby and resisting the crash bang game of the visitors. The period of Coventry Welsh dominance came to an abrupt end when winger Liam Wellings collected the ball way out right inside his own half and then made a searing cross field run evading desperate tackles from the visiting defence to touch down for try number five. This was also converted by Bradley James. With 15 minutes of the match remaining it seemed that OLs thought they had done enough and they allowed Coventry Welsh back into the game. This was a costly period for OLs as Coventry Welsh responded with two tries in five minutes, one of which was converted to reduce the lead.
Coventry Welsh continued to dominate the final ten minutes but their commitment to attack left their defence short which allowed wing forward Andrew O’Toole to collect a spilled ball and run in try number six from 40 metres. This final try was converted to give fly half Bradley James a 19 point match haul.
This was another fine display from OLs playing total rugby with half backs Toby Lord and Bradley James having outstanding games.
Photos click here
There is no first team game next Saturday and the next 1st XV match at The Crofts is on Patrons Lunch day on 19th October versus Manor Park.
Report by Den Fisher
5 Photos by Tim Nunan 1: Andrew O’Toole 2:Andrew O’Toole 3:Bradley James 4: Liam Wellings 5 Toby Lord
OLRFC Press & Publicity Officer