RUGBY UNION: LEAMINGTON produced their best performance of the season as they brushed off the attentions of high-flying Earlsdon to record their first home win of the season.
In a match that was fiercely competitive, Leamington beat an Earlsdon side that already chalked up five wins 41-28 to the joy of the Moorefields crowd and the victory was all the more sweeter thanks to the added bonus point.
An early Tom Jewitt in the first minute set Leamington on their way before winger Garrett Bell did superbly well to produce a try saving tackle down the other end.
With some 20 minutes on the clock and having sustained a period of pressure from the visitors, Leamington increased their lead with some exquisite rugby.
A penalty enabled Jewitt to kick his side into the Earlsdon 22-metre area and when Tom Lane secured the lineout ball, his supporting forwards put in an unstoppable rolling maul and crashed over with Lewis Kelsey getting the final touchdown. From wide out, Jewitt nailed the conversion.
This fine start by Leamington was, however, short-lived as Earlsdon hit back with some high-tempo rugby.
Almost from the restart, they opened up the home defence, scoring under the posts. Then the visitors stole possession and raced up field to score again for another converted score.
The sure-footed boot of Jewitt got his side within one point of the visitors with another penalty goal, before Leamington struck gold with a piece of brilliant attacking play.
Play was then halted as Leamington’s Gareth Shuttleworth sustained a neck injury, for which is required hospital treatment, and when play re-started Jewitt kicked a penalty to the corner which saw Danny Phillips drive over the line to give the hosts a 20-14 lead at half-time.
The second half turned out to be just as entertaining as the first with Leamington initially taking command before Earlsdon set up a tense finish.
Leamington were first to shine when Northover and Jewitt combined to get Garrett Bell away for a try and with Jewitt in sublime kicking form, the conversion was a formality.
The hosts then had a chance to go further ahead when Lewis Kelsey raced up the far wing before getting the ball to Tom Lane, who was in support. The big Leamington lock forward tried to force his way over, however the cover defence just held out.
Lane was however instrumental in securing his side’s fourth try of the afternoon. With Lane securing the lineout possession, his forwards drove to the Earlsdon line before Kelsey had the final say and Jewitt add the extras to give the hosts a 20 point lead.
The momentum of the game shifted in favour of Earlsdon as the visitors put together some excellent attack play, ultimately claiming two converted scores.
With just a six point lead it was Leamington coming under constant pressure but the hosts remained calm and there was to be one final twist.
While pressing the Leamington line, the visitors lost possession which allowed Garrett Bell to ghost through the Earlsdon defence and race between the posts and Jewitt slotted over the conversion to take his personal points haul to 16.
This Saturday Leamington continue league duty with a trip to Spartans.