Sat 11
Old Leamingtonians
1st XV
Shipston Defeated at Old Leamingtonians

Shipston Defeated at Old Leamingtonians

By Matt Corby
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Wasteful Rams rue missed chances away from home

Shipston suffered their second successive defeat on the road when they travelled away to old Leamingtonians on Saturday afternoon, after missed opportunities cost them dearly in front of a vocal VP's crowd. The Rams should've perhaps figured out that it might not have been their day when, on arrival, they discovered a very localized flood in the away team changing rooms due to the "faulty" showers. Despite this inconvenience, Shipston started the game brightly and soon got into their patterns of play, with the forwards making good ground through the middle before releasing the pace of the backs out wide. The early pressure was fruitless however, as a number of errors in the OL's twenty-two cost the Rams the chance of early points. It would be the home side themselves who would get the first score of the game, resulting again from Shipston error. The ball was knocked on by Shipston deep in their own half, which allowed the opposition fly half to kick through and race away from the covering defence to dot down. A Rams' penalty 5 minutes later moved the scores on to 7-3 to OL's, before a second try for the home side followed shortly after. Shipston made a clearing kick from their own line that only made it as far as the OL's winger and he was able to chip the ball over the lazy covering defence and gather his own kick to score a good individual effort. With half time approaching the Rams upped the intensity and forced another penalty in front of the posts. Sam Cooper stepped up and gratefully knocked it over to take the half time score to 12-6 to OL's.

12-6 became 17-6 shortly after the break, as OL's were afforded too much time and space, creating opportunities with ball in hand and punishing the Rams with their third try of the afternoon. This was how the score remained until the final 15 minutes of the match, when Shipston finally decided it was time to try and play some rugby. They completely overwhelmed their hosts with quick off-loads and good handling to play the final stages of the match deep in the opposition territory. Again however, the final pass just never quite seemed to stick for the Rams and it was beginning to become increasingly frustrating for the visitors. After sustained pressure in the OL's twenty-two and some great carrying from the likes of Ben Haines, Robbie Faulkner and Charlie Hollies-Everett, Aaron Neal was able to latch on to an off-load and go crashing over for Shipstons first try of the afternoon. The conversion was pushed just wide, taking the score to 17-11. The Rams sensed blood and went straight back on the attack, getting back to playing their own game and putting a number of good phases together. From a penalty, the ball was kicked into touch 10 metres from the OL's try-line and from the resulting lineout, Shipston executed a brilliant driving maul to go crashing over the line for their second try of the game. Matt Corby was the last man up with the ball to claim the try. With a matter of seconds remaining, the conversion was pivotal. Unfortunately for the Rams it was pushed agonizingly just wide, meaning that they were still a single point behind at 17-16. Shipston were unable to do anything meaningful with their last piece of possession and OL's were able to wind down the clock and kick to touch to bring the curtain down on another disappointing result for the Rams. The high error count and wasteful possession cost Shipston dearly in the end, but take nothing away from OL's, they fully deserved the victory in the end. All that was left to do was to hit the showers, which seemed to have made a miraculous recovery after the "faults" of earlier.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 11, Feb 2017




Midlands 3 West (South)

League position

Old Leamingtonians
Shipston on Stour