Leamington ease through in Papa John Trophy

Leamington opened up their Papa John Counties 1 North Plate, Cup campaign with an emphatic away win at Birmingham based, Camp Hill, winning 42 points to 12.
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There may be some confusion as to the final score (i made it Camp Hill 12 - Leamington 45), however, there was no confusion as to which side won the day, as Leamington brushed aside their opponents, with an outstanding display of disciplined, high tempo, high quality rugby football. This, despite losing influential skipper, Joe Kinghorn, in the opening seconds of the game, with an eye injury.

Having already tested the home defence from the opening whistle, Leamington took the lead on nine minutes, with a controlled passage of play. With a lineout near the home try line, Ed Gray rose and claimed clean possession and enabled a maul to set and then force its way over, with hooker, Nathan Batchelor, getting the all important touch down.

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The home side then retaliated and made good ground into the Leamington 22 metre zone, earning a penalty in the process. They attempted a quick 'tap and go', which failed, giving possession to Leamington, in the form of debutant centre, Will Callan, who showed a blistering turn of pace to race away and score under the posts. 'Patch' Northover then added the conversion.

Leamington winger, Jonty Duncan, scoring for Leamington, photo by Ken Pinfold.Leamington winger, Jonty Duncan, scoring for Leamington, photo by Ken Pinfold.
Leamington winger, Jonty Duncan, scoring for Leamington, photo by Ken Pinfold.

The home side hit back with an unconverted score before Leamington increased their lead with some more exquisitely executed attack play. Winger, Kofi Miller, made the initial breakthrough, with a strong run deep into the Camp Hill defence. The home side conceded a penalty, which was quickly dispatched into the willing hands of lock, John Brear, who effortlessly muscled his way over. Northover then obliged with the conversion. A further incursion soon followed when Gray charged down an attempted clearance kick out, which Callan quickly snapped up and raced in for his second try of the afternoon.

Towards the end of the half, the home side once again came out of their shell and using pace on the near side flank, broke through the Leamington defence for a converted score,

The home side had, on a couple of first half occasions, showed some flair and they began the second period with a flurry of attacks on the Leamington defence. This important passage of play set the scene for the match, as try as they might, Camp Hill were unable to take any reward from their endeavours, with Leamington holding firm and resolute throughout.

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Having soaked up an opening salvo from the home side, Leamington were once again able to hit back with some sublime rugby, full of inventiveness and dash. Miller fielded a high clearance kick out on the far wing and quickly set Will Callan away to run at the Camp Hill defence. A penalty ensued and when the Leamington forwards took possession, Nathan Batchelor was once again on hand to deliver the final blow, crashing over, leaving Northover to conclude the passage of play with the conversion.

Leamington were in top gear now, using the ball quickly, wisely and with panache. A drive from the pack allowed the ball to be set and then moved along the backline, to fly-half, Lewis Vaughan. The Leamington 'playmaker' slipped a superbly timed pass inside, to the ebullient Callan, who raced in to score. Northover once again added the conversion.

More Leamington magic soon followed when their kick out of defence was picked up by Jonty Duncan, on the far side flank. Although still deep in his own half, the classy winger set off, at full throttle, and out paced the home defence to claim a fine individual score, which Northover was able to add to. A fitting end to a supberb Leamington performance.

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