Sat 2 Dec 2017, 14:15

Long Buckby RFC
Old Laurentians RFC
Clonmell Cup

Long Buckby 2nd XV 10 - Old Laurentians 2nd XV 35

Report by David Middleton

Having comfortably dispatched local rivals Newbold in the preliminary round OLs made the short journey to Long Buckby and cruised into the next round of the competition thanks to a superb first half display.

OLs fielded one of their strongest sides of the season, despite skipper nick Martin being sidelined through injury, to face a youthful Long Buckby outfit .

It was the home side who started the brighter using their big forwards to test OL's defence. During the first half of the season OL's defence has, at times, been a little suspect but not on this occasion, as every man looked to make tackle after tackle which meant all Buckby had to show for their endeavours was a penalty courtesy of the fly half's boot.

Having weathered the early pressure the green pack started to win the ball at will, which allowed the excellent half back pairing of Ollie Jones and Robbie Bunn to unleash a potent back line.

The centre pairing of Shepherd and Richard Parker were looking dangerous every time they had the ball, and it was the always excellent Parker who claimed OL's first try of the day scything through the defence after the pack had laid the foundations again, Bunn adding the conversion.

Not to be outdone by his centre partner Shepherd claimed OL's next score in typical Shep style bulldozing his way through the Buckby defence, Bunn again adding the extras.

Buckby were not about to lie down and came straight back at OL's scoring a well worked try under the posts making the conversion a formality.

OL's however finished the half strongly and put the game out of the home side’s reach as first Billy Steatham streaked away to score before James Harris rounded off an excellent afternoons work with his side’s fourth try, Bunn converting both to give OL's a 10-28 lead at half time.

As the second half kicked off the weather deteriorated, and the game became very disjointed as the ball was knocked on time and again leaving OLs a little frustrated as they saw four or five golden chances go begging.

The only score of the half came when winger Colonel Esworthy fielded a clearance kick deep in his own half and made good ground before releasing full back Billyeald who raced under the posts, Bunn keeping his 100% record with the boot by adding the extras.

This was an excellent team performance from OLs. The forwards were strong in all phases with the front row of Fisher, Folkes, Gohil and later Nobez in particular leading the way, and the tireless Sam Miles having another mighty afternoon in the back row, while the back line always looked capable with ball in hand. OLs must continue in this way if they are to achieve the goals they have set themselves this season starting with the visit of the always strong Stratford this week.