TOM Jewitt held his nerve to slot home a late penalty to earn Leamington a second win of the season away at Barkers Butts on Saturday.
Leamington had to show plenty of adaptability against a side that had been a difficult nut to crack over recent years but they ran out 23-20 winners.
Played in excellent conditions for running rugby, the game provided an abundance of exciting football from start to finish and was worthy of the very competitive environment of Midlands 2 West (South).
The visitors had their first clear cut chance of the afternoon when Craig Smith broke through the home defence at pace before setting up a drive in the top corner of the pitch. The visitors quickly moved the ball across the pitch and a cut inside by Danny Ruyssevelt was just held up short of the line.
Some stout defending was required from Leamington and they were fortunate to have Gareth Shuttleworth in top form again to bring off a potential game-changing tackle.
With 20 minutes on the clock Leamington had possession in their 22 metre area, however a stray pass was quickly snaffled up by an alert attacker and suddenly they found themselves 7-0 adrift and a penalty kick increased the arrears before they were able to address the situation.
The scoreline had done nothing to subdue the confidence in the Leamington squad and after a period of pressure in the Barkers half they got themselves back into the game with a well struck penalty by Jewitt penalty.
They continued to build on the momentum and after Garrett Bell gained possession in the home side 22 and a penalty, the opportunity arose for Craig Smith to dive over for the try although Jewitt was just off target with is conversion attempt.
Shortly after the break Leamington fell further behind courtesy of a penalty goal however in the 53rd minute a neat move ended with Gareth Shuttleworth touching down and Jewitt this time was successful to claim maximum points from the try.
The anticipated response from Barkers Butts was well marshalled by some sound Leamington defending and instead it was the visitors who went further ahead with 64 minutes on the clock.
Sam Nunn fielded a high clearance kick out, from Barkers and set Craig Smith off on a run. As the Leamington forwards forced their way up towards the Barkers line, Aled Thomas and Tom Lane exchanged quick passes before getting the ball to Ed Thompson, who dived over in the corner.
As the game entered its final stages there was still plenty of excitement to contend with as Barkers Butts got themselves level with a score under the posts, however, there was still time for one final twist.
Garrett Bell put the Barkers defence on alert with a trademark, direct run and when this was halted unfairly, Leamington were awarded a penalty which Jewitt successfully slotted between the posts to the joy of the visiting support.
This Saturday Leamington continue league duty as they host Balsall & Berkeswell (3pm).