RUGBY UNION: OLD Leamingtonians moved up to third in the Midlands 3 West (South) after securing a narrow 22-18 win over promotion rivals Dunlop.
Hosted on a wet afternoon, OLs kicked off and immediately took the game to Dunlop – keeping the ball inside the visitors half of the field.
Sustained pressure in the opening 15 minutes paid off when OLs won a penalty, which Bradley James converted with ease.
Dunlop were soon level when they kicked a penalty of their own, but OLs responded when Simon Hemming crossed over on the left after some good build up work with Dave Canning. James’ conversion added the extras as OLs led 10-3.
The visiting side bounced back moments before the half time whistle when they struck with an unconverted try as OLs held a 10-8 lead.
That lead was soon lost though when OLs conceded a penalty in front of their posts at the start of the second half.
Fifth gear was hit by OLs in reply though when second row John Carlos drove over for OLs’ second try, which went unconverted.
The game continued with a passage of play in the centre of the field as both defences prevented any genuine scoring opportunities.
That was until a forward drive by OLs saw the ball quickly shuffled wide to winger Liam Wellings.
Wellings ran solo to register the home side’s third try and put the game out of Dunlop’s reach with ten minutes remaining.
Dunlop came back strongly to reduce their 11 point deficit to three, but a strong end to the game saw the hosts hold out and claim a huge win.
OLs are in action at Ledbury RFC on Saturday, December 9 – kick off 2.15pm.