Old Leamingtonians suffer injury-time heartbreak at Shipston-on-Stour

Dulcie Hardwick bulldozes her way over for a debut try for Old Leamingtonians Ladies. Picture: Tim Nunan
Dulcie Hardwick bulldozes her way over for a debut try for Old Leamingtonians Ladies. Picture: Tim Nunan
  • Midlands Three West (South)
  • Shipston-on-Stour 16 Old Leamingtonians 13

Old Leamingtonians were left with a losing bonus point after late heartbreak in a hard-fought encounter at Shipston.

OLs were without captain Rob Smith, who is out for four weeks due to concussion.

Nevertheless, playing downhill, OLs attacked from the kick-off and won a fourth-minute penalty which was converted by stand-off Brad James.

After seven minutes there was a further setback for Shipston when their 13 was forced off due to injury.

As OLs camped on the Shipston line they opted for tap penalties in kickable positions but in spite of camping near the Shipston line they were unable to penetrate the home defence.

An injury to Sam Brittain saw him replaced by SamBrown and shortly after the visitors were penalised in front of their own goal for what appeared to be a punch.

Shipston stand-off Rob James exacted a measure of retribution by slotting over the three points.

As half-time approached, Shipston went on the attack but a great defensive effort from OLs’ three-quarters kept them at bay.

And, when play returned to the Shipston half, Brad James landed a prodigious penalty to put the visitors 6-3 up at the interval.

OLs found themselves under pressure as Shipston used the slope to their advantage after the break, giving away a penalty to allow Rob James to tie the score.

A further penalty edged Shipston ahead for the first time.

OLs came straight back at Shipston and excellent threequarter play and good handling moved them into the home 22. A tap penalty helped earn them a scrum five and the ball was quickly recycled for scrum-half Toby Lord to go over for a try on the right.

Brad James’ kick looked to have missed but the conversion was awarded by the referee to put OLs 13-9 ahead.

As the half extended to 45 minutes, OLs looked to have hung on for victory, but the referee continued the game for a further five minutes, allowing Shipston to gain the win the game with a pushover try in the corner.

 Old Leamingtonians Ladies got their first win of the season on Sunday, edging out visitors Old Newtonians Ladies 14-12.

New OLs number eight Dulcie Hardwick scored the first try, picking and going from a ruck close to the Old Newts line. Sam Smyth added the conversion.

Old Newts were quick to respond, with some strong running from their eight enabling them to force their way over for an unconverted try.

The visitors had the chance to take the lead before the break but missed a kickable penalty to go in trailing 7-5.

After the restart, Old Leamingtonians extended their lead when skipper Jen Vermeulen pounced on a loose ball to run the ball in from the half-way line.

Smyth added the simple conversion.

Old Newtonians hit back with a converted try to cause a few nervous minutes for OLs but the home team hung on for the victory.