Businesslike Leamington get the better of Coventry Welsh

Leamington produced a very businesslike performance, against Coventry Welsh to run out clear 40-26 victors and claim a valuable bonus point in the process.

The home side boast a very uncompromising Pack of forwards who were a constant threat all afternoon. However, the hosts were unable to cope with the pace, grace and inventiveness of the Leamington backline, as they eventually conceded six well worked tries.

The effectiveness of the Leamington attack was evident in the opening minutes of the game, as Ed Gray secured lineout ball and within a whisker had set winger, Conor Chamberlain off on a darting run across the pitch. Timing his pass to perfection, Chamberlain unleashed his fellow winger, Garrett Bell, who raced in for his side’s opening try.

The gloss of this stunning try was soon lost as the home side mounted a quick-fire response, through their pack, to claim a well thought out try of their own. In doing so, they evidenced their power in the set and drive, which was to become an effective ploy throughout the afternoon.

Leamington Forward, Ed Gray, on the attack. Pic by Ken Pinfold.
Leamington Forward, Ed Gray, on the attack. Pic by Ken Pinfold.
Leamington Forward, Ed Gray, on the attack. Pic by Ken Pinfold.

Leamington regained the lead soon after, following a penalty, which saw Sam Nunn and Toby Bruce link up in the middle of the park to once again set Bell away for another spectacular try. Full Back, Brad James, stepped up and nailed the conversion and this was the catalyst for a buoyant spell of attack play from the visitors.

Try number three soon followed as a Coventry Welsh attempt to set up an attack was thwarted by the alert Gareth Shuttleworth, who intercepted a stray pass. This occurred on the half way line and presented the Leamington Back Row forward with a testing sprint for the try line, with several defenders snapping at his heels.

Fortunately, athleticism shone through and Shuttleworth did not disappoint the away support as he glided over. James once again notched the conversion.

Winger, Garrett Bell, with two tries under his belt already, set up the bonus point try with an exquisitely judged cross field kick, from one wing to the other, which Conor Chamberlain gathered, at pace, and raced in to score. James once again obliged with the conversion.

The Leamington Backline were full of flair and looking to break through the “Welsh” defence at every opportunity. However, their Forwards were having a fierce battle with the home Pack and once again this was the route used by the hosts to get back on the score sheet, as their effective ball retention and drives found a gap in the Leamington armour for a converted score.

Just before the interval, Leamington conjured up some more magic on the far side flank, with a breakout of defence by Chamberlain and Bruce, at speed. The attack swiftly entered the home 22 area and with the “Welsh” defence floundering, Brad James stepped in to finish off another superbly engineered score, with the touchdown, before completing matters with the conversion.

The second period began well for the visitors and following a quickly taken penalty, James and Toby Bruce linked to provide Chamberlain with room for his second score of the afternoon, duly converted.

With 40 points now in the bank, Leamington set about containing the threat from the Coventry Welsh forwards, which they managed for the most part. Craig Smith was on hand to tidy up loose ball at the base of the scrum, when it became under pressure and his fellow pack members stuck rigidly to their task of snuffing out the efforts of the opposition. Two scores were, however, conceded, the last a “Penalty Try”.