Midland One East
Huntingdon & District 33 – Old Laurentians 10
Report by Mick Warwick
ANOTHER defeat for struggling Old Laurentians but by a reduced score from the home game against Huntingdon (the Stags) earlier in the season. So the recent improvement continues but the question is does the team have enough time to secure the results necessary to survive in this league?
The Stags showed once again that if you make a mistake at this level then you are punished. For OLs, late changes to the starting 15 were again the order of the day. Paul Lewis came from the bench to replace Rob Corrigan who in turn had replaced the unavailable Paul Willis; Daz Dean returned to No 6 in a new look back row with Glenn Todd at 8 and Mark Todd moving to 7, from where James Orbinson had moved to the centre. Ben Wiles moved to fly half and Andy Coleman, another flanker, came in on the wing. Just to rub it in OLs lost the influential Ben Scott in the warm up with a back spasm and Kev Vince came off the bench to replace him.
The Stags made a lively start using good field position to attack OL’s defensive line which, considering all the changes, stood up well. The continued pressure eventually paid off for the Stags when, in the 12th minute, they came through the middle for a well worked and converted try. OLs showed that they were not just there to make up the numbers with a period of pressure in the Stags half of the field. But a lack of precision allowed the Stags to run in their 2nd try from their own half, followed by another long range try, and half time came with OLs trailing by 21 points to nil.
The 2nd half got under way with OLs taking the game to the Stags with some excellent driving forward play and strong scrummaging, where Cowley, Hammond and Fisher were starting to get on top of the opposition. But the Stags ruthlessly exposed OL’s mistakes to score 2 further tries.
And so with 25 minutes to go OLs found themselves 33-0 down and any chance of winning the game gone. But OLs took control of the game after Ricky Reed had come on to replace Ollie Jones, who had taken a heavy knock earlier in the game. The last 20 minutes of the game was all OLs and resulted in 2 well taken tries, the first when Jordan Bunn used his pace to finish off a good piece of play and the 2nd came from a strong driving maul when skipper Olly Cowley forced his way over. So the game ended up 33-10 to the Stags which, had OLs been more accurate, could have been a lot different.
OLs next league action will be on Saturday 9th January, when Ilkeston are the visitors to Fenley Field.