A BLISTERING opening six minutes saw Old Laurentians stun rivals Newark by scoring three tries on their way to a 27-24 victory in the Midlands One East division, reports Bill Wallis.
In what proved to be a helter skelter match, OLs stunned their opponents by racing into a 19-0 lead with just six minutes played.
But Newark re-grouped to respond and gradually whittled down the deficit until they took the lead themselves at 24-19 with just 15 minutes to go before a strong fightback from OLs saw they claim a fourth win of the season in the closing stages.
The hosts got off to the best possible start when James Orbinson finished off a catch and drive from a 25-metre lineout and soon after Glenn Tood went over the line after another well-worked lineout ploy.
A third try followed when Andy Coleman set up Troy Owen to go over on his first full game back after a long injury lay off, and with Dom Hammond converted twice, OLs found themselves 19-0 up.
Todd came close to scoring his second from a close in scrum before Newark struck back after 33 minutes with winger Callum Slack going over for Mackie to add the goal points for a half-time score of 19-7.
Mackie dropped a goal early in the second half for Newark before they were awarded a penalty try for an obstruction, with the successful conversion narrowing the deficit to just two points.
And after picking up two yellow cards, the OLs defence was stretched to breaking point when left winger Conor Slack went over for Newark to put the visitors 19-24 in front.
But OLs went back on the offensive for the final 15 minutes and their efforts were rewarded with a try by Dom Hammond to tie the scores after heavy pressure on the Newark line.
And in the dying minutes, it was Reiss Boon who stepped up and calmly kicked the winning points from a penalty as OLs claimed both the win points and a try bonus.
This Saturday sees the second of this season’s big local derbies as OLs make the short trip to Parkfield Road to take on Newbold.