RUGBY UNION: OLD Leamingtonians leaped up to fourth in the Midlands 3 West (South) Division after a confidence boosting win over Manor Park at home.
OLs took the game to their Nuneaton rivals from the start to record a convincing 51-7 win against a side that has now won just three of their first 11 fixtures.
Despite the positive scoreline, the game got off to the worst possible start for the hosts when Manor Park’s early clearance was knocked on in front of OLs’ posts.
The resulting scrum saw Manor force the ball over the line for the game’s first try.
Little were the visiting side to know however that the conversion that followed was to be the last points they would score all afternoon.
OLs took control of the game straight from kick off. However it did take the hosts 15 minutes to register their first points.
Some sloppy handling meant Manor Park held on, until winger Liam Wellings shrugged off three defensive tackles to cross over on the right. The conversion was missed.
The try provided OLs with the catalyst they needed to kick on, and they were soon 13-7 ahead when Simon Hemming bagged the home side’s second try before a successful kick helped OLs establish a six point lead.
The domination by OLs continued. And while some good scoring chances were squandered, fly half Bradley James capitalised on some good build up play to cross for try number three – which he converted to give the home side a half time lead at 20-7.
OLs started the second half as they ended the first.
The home forwards repeatedly drove the visitors backwards during set pieces to create time and space for their backs to stretch the Manor Park defence.
Felix Heath then touch down for OLs first second half try.
Heath bagged a second moments later before Joe Tallamini intercepted a loose Manor Park pass to increase the score. The try was converted by Ciaran O’Connor.
The seventh try, again created when the OLs forwards drove Manor Park backwards in a set scrum to win the ball, allowed winger Liam Wellings to cross for his second try of the game.
With the match drawing to a close, second row Rhys Cory drove forward to cross the line for try number eight.
This was converted to give OLs a winning score of 51-7.
OLs are next in action at home on Saturday, January 6, against Woodrush.
Picture: Tim Nunan.