FIVE-TRY Old Leamingtonians edged a rollercoaster battle with Manor Park 32-29 in Midlands Three West (South) on Saturday.
In an end-to-end encounter, hosts Manor Park took the game to Old Leams to lead 24-13 at the break, but ultimately succumbed to an outstanding second half comeback from Adam Canning’s side.
With a sloping pitch working in the home side’s favour at Griff and Coton Sports Club, OLs were on the back foot from the first whistle and conceded a try that was scored and converted by Chris Morewood around the 15-minute mark.
After Morewood kicked a penalty, the visitors responded with three points of their own from Bradley James to register on the scoresheet.
Old Leamingtonians were unable to keep out try-hungry Park, however, and fell further behind to Lineker Lashley’s converted try on 25 minutes.
A valiant response followed from the away side in the final ten minutes before the break.
First, Liam Wellings spotted a gap in the home defence to score an unconverted try in the corner, before running in his second to reduce the deficit to four points.
Dan Joyce’s converted score put Manor Park back on the front foot before the half was out, although OLs now had the considerable advantage of the sloped pitch in their favour after the restart.
So it proved, as a first converted try of the afternoon for the away side followed eight minutes into the half.
Driving the hosts backwards, Tom Smith touched down, before James kicked the extras to narrow the gap.
Ten minutes later, Sam Britain’s score sent Old Leams in front for the first time by a single point at 25-24.
That lead was extended to eight points when the referee awarded the away side a penalty try for a collapsed maul infringement, rendering a late Chris Kirby effort a consolation.
Sixth-placed Old Leamingtonians host Old Coventrians, who are second, on Saturday (2.15pm).