Droitwich 12 Leamington 32: Leamington make encouraging start to the season at Droitwich

Leamington flood forward on their way to a convincing victory at Droitwich. Picture: Gina Ruyssevelt
Leamington flood forward on their way to a convincing victory at Droitwich. Picture: Gina Ruyssevelt

A near flawless display in their opening fixture earned Leamington maximum points from a club where their fortunes have been mixed in recent years.

Spa opened up the scoring with less than three minutes on the clock. Craig Smith took the ball in the lineout deep in the Droitwich 22 and set up a drive to the line with Danny Ruyssevelt claiming the final touch in the corner. Patrick Northover was just off target with the difficult conversion attempt.

A last-ditch intervention from a defender prevented Spa driving over from a scrum but Droitwich’s luck soon ran out as the visitors secured lineout ball and gained sufficient space for Ruyssevelt to race down the blindside wing to score.

Northover nailed the conversion to give his side a 12-point lead.

From the restart, the rampant visitors sealed possession and Alex Carroll worked the ball quickly up the park. Ruyssevelt took possession, shipped it swiftly into the grateful hands of winger Jamie Harrison and from then on there was only going to be one outcome.

It was well into the second period of the half before Droitwich could mount any semblance of an attack and it was Leamington who now had to soak up some pressure.

Craig Smith delayed the inevitable with a try-saving tackle but the home side’s perseverance finally paid off as they took advantage of an overlap to score under the posts.

Leamington responded with Gareth Shuttleworth forcing his way through the home defence and creating space for Northover to get the ball to Holland who obliged with a try in the far corner for a 22-7 interval lead.

Droitwich tried to turn the tables after the break but came up against some resolute Leamington tackling, with Northover and Carroll kicking wisely to alleviate pressure and, at the same time, get their side back on the front foot.

And it was to be Leamington who were next on the scoreboard with another well-worked try coming from the pack.

Danny Phillips’ sniping run set the move off and Droitwich were forced to concede a penalty.

The forwards kept possession and forced their way over, with Mark Warrilow getting the final touch.

Now 20 points adrift, Droitwich found the energy to hit Leamington with a series of attacks.

During one incursion, they won the ball at the scrum and recycled it down the backline at pace, allowing the left winger to run in for a consolation score.

This was to turn out to be their last score of the afternoon and they were to succumb to one final try from Leamington.

With the ball secured from a lineout, the visitors got it to Holland who fed it on to Harrison and his pace on the wing opened up the defence to create Spa’s sixth try of an encouraging afternoon.