Patching-inspired Spa end their recent rough patch

Leamington's Matt Patching takes on the Bedworth defence. Picture: Gina Ruyssevelt
Leamington's Matt Patching takes on the Bedworth defence. Picture: Gina Ruyssevelt
  • Midlands Two West (South)
  • Bedworth 7 Leamington 43

Leamington gained a well-merited victory at Bedworth to end a dismal sequence of results.

Following on from a much-improved performance in defeat to Barkers Butts the previous week, Leamington put the home side under immediate pressure.

Matt Patching made good ground with a couple of early runs and then wing Joe Walton got hearts racing with a darting run that took him deep into the Bedworth half.

Leamington’s attacking play gained a penalty but, in the strong wind, Jim Robertson kick was wayward.

With 14 minutes on the clock, and with Leamington in the ascendancy, Patching made another forceful run before getting the ball to fellow back-row forward Mark Symmons. In one quick movement, Symmons slipped quick ball to Ed Thompson who crashed over between the posts. Robertson added the extras.

The Leamington pack was in top form and, when a run by Mark Warrilow punched a hole in the Bedworth defence, his fellow forwards helped drive the ball at rapid pace towards the home try line, with Tom Greevy getting the final touch.

With their tails up, Leamington hit the home side with another excellent try, scrum-half Gareth Shuttleworth crossing for a fine solo effort.

Although Bedworth had the advantage of the blustery conditions, they were being met by a resolute home defence, with Robertson defying the conditions to make touch on numerous occasions.

As half-time approached, Leamington scored their bonus-point try.

The pack won possession and, with initial support from Patching and Danny Ruyssevelt, centre Will Fievet carved open a gap in the home defence and surged over.

Robertson nailed the conversion to send his side in at the interval with a 24-point lead.

Leamington were soon pressing again after the restart.

Patching fielded the Bedworth kick-off and quickly got the ball to Robertson whose huge kick downfield put his side on the attack.

Direct runs from Fievet and Robertson kept up the pressure and, with Leamington in full flow, a score came courtesy of another piece of power play from the pack.

Having worked the ball upfield they won a scrum and once the ball was inserted, Leamington forced the Bedworth pack back over their line, Patching getting the final touch. Robertson quickly added the conversion.

A clever piece of play from Robertson almost caught Bedworth cold but Joe Walton just missed out on the final pass.

The respite was, however, temporary, as within minutes Walton retrieved the ball deep in his own half and began a deceptive run across field. His pace seemed to unnerve the home defenders and the winger took full advantage, crashing over in the corner.

By this time, playing conditions had worsened and the blustery winds were now being supplemented by biting rain.

Bedworth, now well beaten, did get on the scoresheet with a converted try following a good showing from their pack.

Their defiance was short-lived, with the boot of Robertson bringing it to an end with another booming kick to find touch upfield.

The visitors, starved of free scoring for most of the season, had one last try in the tank.

Patching, an annoyance to Bedworth all afternoon with his direct running, linked with Walton to get Leamington deep in the Bedworth 22 and when the pack took over, Danny Phillips was on hand to thunder over.

Robertson completed proceedings and capped a fine individual display with the conversion.