OLD LAURENTIANS missed an opportunity to climb off the bottom of the Midlands 1 East division table after losing 14-24 at home to Bugbrooke on Saturday, reports Bill Wallis.
In a hard fought encounter, the visitors did enough to earn the points after shading the contest by three tries to two.
Yet again OLs were forced to make late changes to their original selection, leading to another new half back combination when Ollie Jones teamed up with Ryan Cleaver.
Just three minutes into the game, Bugbrooke worked their dangerous right wing away from deep in their own half and his pace left defenders in his wake as he ran 60 metres for a fine try which was converted for a 7-0 lead.
Now alive to the danger posed by the visitors’ backline, OLs tightened up their defence to keep their opponents in check.
But with the strong wind at their backs they created few scoring opportunities of their own.
On the stroke of half time OLs did finish off a spell of sustained attack and lock Paul Willis was on hand to finish off a powerful drive for the line and Ben Wiles converted as the break arrived with the sides all square at 7-7.
Bugbrooke re-took the lead with a penalty on 48 minutes and the for next 20 minutes neither side could establish any real advantage.
But then the referee showed a highly contentious red card to OL’s centre Charlie Seager and the initiative swung back to Bugbrooke.
After a lineout throw of dubious quality, Bugbrooke took advantage of OLs undermanned midfield defence to go over for a try, stretching their advantage to 7-17.
They clinched their win when awarded a penalty try as OLs struggled to hold a powerful scrum drive, the conversion leaving them in control at 7-24 with just a couple of minutes to go.
But OLs hit back with a series of powerful carries, Dom Hammond, James Orbinson and Ben Wiles all involved, before Cain Jones set off a final attack that ended with Hammond putting Glenn Todd over for a fine team try.
Ben Wiles added the goal points to restore some balance to the final scoreline but it was too late for OLs who return to action this Saturday when they visit Huntingdon.