By Jamie Arrowsmith 25/04 Updated: 01/05 11:03
Old Laurentians 21 Droitwich 25
Midlands Two West (South)
DESPITE seeing their own play-off hopes ended seven days earlier, OLs still had a big part to say in who did grab second place as they entertained Droitwich in their final game of the season on Saturday and although they fell to defeat, they did enough to leave their visitors frustrated.
It came down to a battle between Droitwich and Berkswell and Balsall for second place in the table and although Berkswell won, had OLs’ Matt Miller not made an outstanding cover tackle in the second half they would have secured a try scoring bonus point which would have seen them finish as runners-up.
Droitwich set off at a blistering pace and led 18-0 inside 30 minutes thanks to eight points from the boot of Scott-Walker - a drop goal, penalty and conversion - and tries from Barnes and Bujinstrex.
OLS, who finished sixth in the table, were struggling to secure any worthwhile possession and it took them until the 39th minute to reach Droitwich’s 22 for the first time. But importantly, they made the most of the opportunity.
A quickly taken tap penalty saw the ball transferred to Troy Owen and he exploited the half chance well to go over in the corner, Jon Bean converted to make it 18-7 at the break.
Danny Murch, back after a four month injury lay-off, had impressed for OLs in the first half and he reminded supporters of his class again straight after the restart when skillfully creating an opportunity for centre Matt Millar to go over, Bean converted to cup the gap to four.
Bujinsterx’s second try of the afternoon, converted by Scott-Walker, gave Droitwich some breathing space again but OLs were soon back on the attack.
Good defence kept them at bay until the 27th minute when Ricky Reed hoisted a long kick into space and Murch seized on the loose ball to dive over despite the close attention of a defender.
Bean’s conversion proved to be the final points of the game despite OLs pushing hard in the closing stages.
THE 2nds have been crowned champions of Warwickshire One after Nuneaton Old Eds were unable to raise a side for the final game of the season.
Skipper James Melvin was both delighted with his team’s success and frustrated by the way in which it came about.
“We would have much preferred to have won the title on the field”, he said.
“Having beaten Od Eds 112-0 in the earlier league encounter, we would have gone into this final match with confidence high and fully expecting to win it. But the team have played superbly well throughout the season and fully deserve this accolade.”
Although finishing level on points with second placed Broadstreet, OLs had a far superior points difference after a free scoring season which saw them average over 30 points a game.
The success has come despite heavy calls on their best players by the club’s 1st team as a series of injuries to key players have depleted playing resources.
Leading points scorers for the team were Ben Roberts, whose total of 108 points included 15 tries, closely followed by Ben Shepherd and Grant Inch with 11 and ten tries respectively.
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