THE FINAL score may suggest otherwise, but Old Laurentians coach Stuart Birch believes Saturday’s 64-7 defeat at home to Kettering in the Midlands 1 East league could act as a turning point in OLs’ season.
It certainly did not look that way when the league leaders scored seven first half tries to hold a commanding 45-0 lead after just 30 minutes.
But the home side responded well and scored a well taken try on the cusp of half-time before keeping the visitors at bay for half-an-hour after the break before tiring in the final stages of the game.
OLs were strengthened by the return of injured duo Reiss Boon and Marc Eagles and they started brightly but once Kettering crossed for their first try it was one way traffic for the next 30 minutes.
Ryan Cleaver was the latest to make his first team debut for OLs this season and the young fly half looked very much at home after turning in an assured and polished performance. He formed what must be one of the club’s youngest ever half back pairings with Reiss Boon and together they promise much for the future.
OLs found themselves 45 points down but they did manage to score a try of real quality direct from a scrum on half way.
Winger Jordan Bunn appeared on the end of a fluent movement going left and chipped ahead to comfortably win the race to touch down, and Boon converted with an excellent kick.
The half-time talk from coach Birch clearly had an impact in the second period, as for 25 minutes OLs were very much the equals of their opponents.
Their defensive organisation was far better with full back Richard Parker pulling off some vital tackles and the midfield trio of Cleaver, Eagles and Paddy Reid took every opportunity to take the game to Kettering.
The hosts did concede another three tries but it was still considered to be a sterling performance by OLs who are next in action this weekend when they make the long trip to Market Rasen and Louth for the first ever meeting between the two clubs.