RUGBY UNION: LEAMINGTON gave Midlands 2 West (South) leaders Rugby Lions a run for their money after more then holding their own at Webb Ellis Rd but they eventually fell to a 32-16 defeat on Saturday.
The Moorefields Men’s work rate and creativity more than matched that of their opponents and the only blemish in this performance was a slight lapse in concentration in the late stages of the first half, which gifted the somewhat lacklustre ‘Lions’ two tries.
Leamington set their stall out in the early moments of the game with some strong running and it was no surprise when they took the lead courtesy of the boot of Tom Jewitt with just seven minutes on the clock.
It took some time for the hosts to counter the high tempo start of Leamington, however when a penalty fell their way they opted to kick for touch, instead of taking the points on offer, presumably expecting their forwards to catch and drive for the try.
This was the first time in the afternoon that they had come up against the Leamington defensive wall, which proved too much for the home team on this occasion.
With some 20 minutes gone and with the game still evenly matched, Rugby set up an attack down the far side flank and for once got the better of Leamington, with a hard earned unconverted try.
The visitor responded immediately as Gareth Shuttleworth took possession, and then timed his pass to perfection to set the ever-willing Garrett Bell off on run up the nearside wing, which Rugby were relieved to finally usher into touch.
With nine minutes of the half remaining Leamington’s Toby Bruce put in a timely tackle to halt a Rugby attack, however the hosts support play proved too strong and they went over for a converted score.
From the restart, Lions exploited a lapse in concentration in the Leamington play and in a split second raced upfield to score under the posts for another converted score and the home side led 24-3 at the break.
The points deficit looked daunting, however Leamington began the second period on the front foot with Kelsey making an important steal and getting his side on the attack. The ensuing play resulted in a penalty award and Tom Jewitt once again obliged with the conversion.
Although Rugby then countered with their own penalty, Leamington quickly regained the initiative and when the ball was played to Garrett Bell on the wing, the bullish winger forced his way over in the corner for a fine, well deserved score.
This score put a truer reflection on the balance of play and underscored the manner in which Leamington were competing in the match.
The home side managed one more try in the match before Leamington hit back with another superbly engineered score.
They took possession from a lineout deep in the Rugby 22 metre area and formed an unstoppable rolling maul to penetrate the home defence, allowing Lewis Kelsey to cap another fine display by getting the final touch down. Jewitt’s conversion attempt, from wide out, hit the posts and bounced clear.