Rugby Union:
Defeat sees OLs lose top spot

By Jamie Arrowsmith Wednesday 20 February 2013 Updated: 20/02 17:45

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Buy photos » OLs’ top of the table clash with Kenilworth was hard fought throughout. Picture by Ray Todd.

Old Laurentians 0 Kenilworth 3

Midlands Two West (South)

OLs lost top spot on Saturday when falling to defeat by one of the most uncommon scorelines in the game.

After half time was reached at 0-0, it became increasingly apparent that one score could well settle this contest between the league’s top two, and so it proved.

Kenilworth full back Tom Kendall kicked the only points of the game seven minutes into the second half when sending a penalty through the uprights, and try as they might, OLs could offer no response.

Jon Bean saw an early penalty effort drift wide and a second attempt that also failed later in the half, ultimately proved costly.

He appeared to be right on target with a penalty late in the second half but the ball veered in flight to hit the upright and bounce back into play, robbing OLs of a deserved share of the spoils.

OLs, who travel to local rivals Newbold on Saturday, were not helped by injuries to three key players, wing Troy Owen and flanker Glenn Todd had to leave the action in the first half and they were joined in the second by Carl Adams, feeling the effects of an earlier knock.

So with two thirds of OLs’ influential back row on the sidelines, having enjoyed a real battle with a very good Kenilworth back row, prop Ollie Cowley had to play the later stages at number eight, having already put in an arduous shift in the front row.

The result means that the sides change places at the top of the league table, Kenilworth now having a two point lead over OLs. But with seven league games to go the battle for the title is still wide open. OLs must now win every one to stay in contention and bonus points take on an even greater significance. Should it come down to points difference, OLs have a major advantage, one that was hardly changed by this result.

THERE was better news for the 2nds who booked their place in the final of the Clonmell Cup with a 47-0 victory at Rugby St Andrews 2nds.

In the early stages it was Dan O’Brien’s boot that separated the sides with three penalties and the conversion of Grant Inch’s well taken try midway through the first half.

Half time arrived with OLs holding a 16-0 lead but their defence had been tested by some lively Saints attacks that came close on a couple of occasions.

But the visitors stretched away after the break with four more tries. Steve Pike got the touch down after a powerful forward drive, then a strong run by Inch created the opportunity for Greg Clarke to scythe through and score under the posts.

Pike claimed his second after more strong play by the pack before quick hands sent Sam Taylor over in the corner. Inch snapped up an interception to go over for his second as Saints tried to run the ball out of their 22 and O’Brien’s conversion hoisted his personal tally to 17 points and edged him closer to 200 for the season.

OLs must now wait to find out who their opponents in the final will be as Rugby Welsh and Newbold still have to play their first round tie, the winners facing Rugby Lions for a semi-final place against Lutterworth.

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