OLD LEAMINGTONIANS fell to their first defeat of the season after losing 20-12 at home to Rugby Lions in the Midlands 3 West (South).
After back-to-back wins, Old Leams could have been seen as favourties when they welcomed newly promoted Rugby Lions at the Crofts, who had opened their campaign with two defeats.
However it was the visitors that took the game to the home side from the kick off as Old Leams started slowly with a number of unforced errors in the opening minutes.
And Rugby Lions took advantage with a penalty and a converted try with only eight minutes on the clock.
The hosts responded well but the first half was littered with handling errors and with the visitors maintaining pressure it was difficult for them to put together any co-ordinated play.
After 30 minutes the game was held up when Old Leams full back Ciaran O’Connor was injured and had to leave the field.
When the game restarted Old Leams came into it more but a breakaway try by Rugby Lions increased the lead to 15 points.
And with the first half stretching to almost an hour due to injury stoppages it was OLs that registered the last points of the half with a touch line try scored by Simon Hemming that left the hosts 15-5 down at the break.
The second half saw a much better display of rugby from Old Leams but when in a good attacking position a wild pass was intercepted to allow the visitors to increase the lead to 15 points with an unconverted try.
The game continued with both sides making unforced errors but Old Leams’ determination paid off when David Canning kicked ahead for Jason Hobman to run through and touch down.
With Brad James converting, the score reached 20-12 and despite further pressure Old Leams were unable to close the gap.
Also in Midlands 3 West (South), Harbury’s search for a first win of the season continues after they lost 36-10 at home to Cheltenham North.
Harbury had seven first team regulars missing through a mixture of injury, illness and unavailability, which meant several second team players made the step up.
However, Cheltenham had created the basis of their victory through their two excellent forwards at number eight and flanker.
It was these two who created the gaps in the home defence through their powerful runs and offloads in the tackle and the visitors were 24-10 ahead at half-time.
Harbury’s scores came through a powerful surge by skipper Gaz Evans which was converted by Andy Sandford, who also kicked a penalty.
Harbury’s defence in the second 40 minutes was committed but they found themselves conceding too many penalties and as a consequence the visitors were able to score two more tries to wrap up a comfortable win.