RICH McKOWEN touched down twice as Leamington RFC began the year with an impressive 32-19 win against Old Coventrians.
McKowen ran in Leamington’s final two tries with Aaron Hunt, Logan Deely and Simon Harry also crossing in a comprehensive victory.
The result means Leamington are now ninth in the Midlands 2 West (South) table, having secured just their third win of the season.
And the home side started well with scrum-half George Jacobs creating the first meaningful attack with a kick to the wing that was almost picked up by Conor Chamberlain.
However, Old Coventrians took the lead through a converted try on 19 minutes with their first foray into the Leamington 22.
Parity was restored within five minutes when Hunt crashed over following a series of pick and drives from the hard-working Leamington pack with Sam Nunn adding the conversion.
Leamington then took the lead with a well-worked score that was finished off by home debutant Deely after he muscled his way over the line for a try in the corner.
That came after Harry Johnson and Toby Bruce exchanged passes before Chamberlain was set away and used his electric pace to feed Deeley to send Leamington into the break with a 12-7 lead.
However, the visitors made a strong start to the second half as their pack forced Leamington to defend for long periods.
Thumping tackles from Craig Smith and then Hunt failed to prevent the visitors from scoring their second converted try as a scrum finally allowed Old Coventrians to force their way over the line.
But Leamington responded immediately with a try of their own as lock Harry touched down following more good work from their pack.
And Nunn further increased Leamington’s advantage with a penalty, before the home side opened up an unassailable lead with two superb pieces of play.
Smith gathered the ball on the near touchline before setting Chamberlain away for another mesmeric run who returned the ball to Smith who in-turn delivered the try scoring pass to cemtre McKowen with Nunn adding the extras.
Then, Nunn acted as instigator when he neatly fielded a clearance kick on the nearside touchline and sent Johnson away with Deely acting as linkman to get the ball to McKowen to score his second try of the afternoon after tearing down the middle of the park.
Nunn was successful with the resulting conversion although Old Coventrians would have the final say as they crossed for a late try after more powerful work from their pack.
Leamington are next in action away at Old Laurentians on Saturday, January 15 with kick-off at 2.15pm at Fenley Field.