THE TRIP to Midland 1 East leaders Bedford Athletic was made more in hope than expectation for Old Laurentians who found themselves on the wrong end of a 55-7 scoreline, reports Bill Wallis.
Athletic’s Wentworth Road ground is not proving to be a welcome venue for clubs from Rugby, as OL’s losing margin was identical to that inflicted on Newbold just two weeks earlier.
The curse of injury and non-availability that has afflicted OLs all season continued and at no time has the back line been the same for two weeks running.
Ollie Smith and Ben Roach, were the tenth combination used in 12 league games this season.
OLs started well enough, going through the phases and retaining possession well, but it soon became clear that they were facing a team whose defence was very well organised and giving little away.
Athletic play a 15 man game, with possession used effectively and quickly to set their pacey backline away.
Honours up front were shared, OLs pack winning a good supply of ball with lock forward Ben Anderson making a welcome return after a six week injury layoff.
Full back Darlow opened the scoring for the home side after ten minutes, quickly followed over by centre Smith. Athletic had secured a try bonus by the 30 minute mark and half time arrived with them holding a 24-0 lead.
A converted try early in the second half increased Athletic’s lead before OLs struck back. They retained possession through a series of phases long enough to create an opening for Jordan Bunn to finish conclusively with a try wide out, superbly converted by Roach.
Going into the final quarter with a 31-7 lead, Athletic cut loose with four further tries as OLs wilted under the pressure and Athletic’s back three went on to claim seven of their nine tries.
It’s back to home turf this Saturday with the visit of Bugbrooke to Fenley Field (2.15 kick off).