RUGBY UNION: AN outstanding performance by Leamington under severe pressure saw Lewis Kelsey and Tom Jewitt both score two tries in a convincing 41-7 victory over Pinley in the Midlands 2 West (South) division.
Leamington produced a performance that did justice to their undoubted skill, commitment and enterprise, to ensure their league status, much to the delight of the large home crowd.
The hosts hit the ground running from the outset and they nearly opened up the scoring when Danny Ruyssevelt raced through the Pinley ranks, only to be held up short of the try line.
With the hosts now attacking in the Pinley 22 metre zone, skipper Craig Smith claimed the ball in the line-out and set up a drive, which the redoubtable Kelsey finished off to perfection, but Tom Jewitt was just off target with the difficult conversion attempt.
Leamington were soon to benefit further when winger Roger Moorhouse chased a kick upfield to put pressure on the Pinley defence, and Craig Smith was first to react to get the ball over for his side’s second try of the afternoon.
Leamington’s task was helped by a Pinley player, who apparently sustained a ‘red mist’ moment, which was soon followed by the referee having a ‘red card’ moment.
Scrum half Northover soon used the numerical advantage to open up space and sprint upfield. When the Pinley defence tried to close him down, he sent in a neat pass to Tom Jewitt, who raced in to score, and Northover’s conversion was clean to make it 17-0.
The defiant Pinley attack then set about the home defence and on 33 minutes, after earning two successive penalties, found a gap in the home lines and were rewarded with a converted try.
Despite this setback, Leamington were soon about their business again. The ball was released to Danny Ruyssevelt, who raced over for Leamington’s fourth try. Jewitt nailed the conversion and once again there was some clear daylight between the two sides at half-time.
Leamington head coach, Alex Carroll, would have been impressed with the way his side had reacted to the situation in hand and the perceived pressure heaped on them prior to the match and this was about to improve further early in the second period.
A promising Pinley attack was halted and with Leamington gaining possession, winger Connor Chamberlain took the ball, jinked through the visitors’ back line, before finishing off under the posts to leave Tom Jewitt with a simple conversion.
Although there was still plenty of time on the clock at this stage, Leamington were responding to everything asked of them by Pinley, in a very positive manner.
In fact it was the Leamington pack, who once again stepped up to create another unstoppable drive, which gave Kelsey the chance to claim his second and well-earned score of the afternoon.
In what has been a tough, Leamington finished off in style with a majestic score. The ball was moved swiftly into the Pinley danger area and then switched inside and Matt Shelton crashed over between the posts to give the home side a very satisfying end to the season.