Disappointing season ends in defeat for Old Laurentians at home to Derby - The Rugby Observer

Disappointing season ends in defeat for Old Laurentians at home to Derby

Rugby Editorial 18th Apr, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

THEY may have come up against one of the best sides in the Midland One East, but Saturday’s 14-54 defeat at home to Derby was a below par performance which fell well short of their recent standards, reports Bill Wallis.

It had all started so well when OLs took a scrum against the head and Ben Wiles, Troy Owen and Glenn Todd combined to take play up to Derby’s 22.

The visitors conceded a scrum from which Jon Bean fed Wiles and the centre sliced through for a fine try after six minutes with Bean’s conversion giving the hosts a 7-0 lead.

Derby’s re-start kick was fumbled and the visitors reclaimed the ball before quick hands saw their centre cut through for a try which was converted to level the scores.

Derby went on to add three more first half tries to lead 26-7 at half time and although OLs had put together a few attacking moves, they had foundered on solid Derby defence.

Kieran McArdle troubled the Derby defence as much as anyone with some strong carrying after the break, but the visitors had added three more converted tries before OLs troubled the scoreboard operator again with a gem of a try.

Jon Bean’s crossfield kick was judged to perfection for winger Jordan Bunn to take it on the full and go over wide out with Bean converting the try.

But there was still time for Derby to add a further converted try and hoist the 50 points for a win that was not as one-sided as the score suggests, as OLs had played a full part in an entertaining contest.

This brought the curtain down on a season OLs will want to put behind them. The serious player shortage in the early part of the campaign brought some heavy defeats and by the time it was strengthened by the return of players from injury and other clubs, they were too far adrift to have any real chance of escaping relegation.

But if the club had been able to field the team throughout that played through the second half of the season, the evidence is strong that they could have achieved a respectable mid-table position.

Ben Wiles finished the season as OL’s leading points scorer with Glenn Todd topping the try count and Mark Todd was the only player to have appeared in every one of the 26 games played.


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