Leamington RUFC fourth after battling win at Earlsdon

Leamington were pleased to come away from this fiercely fought match with a bonus point win after a 24-21 victory at Earlsdon.

Leamington scrum half Sam Nunn creates an opening for his side. Pic by Ken Pinfold.
Leamington scrum half Sam Nunn creates an opening for his side. Pic by Ken Pinfold.

The win currently secures them fourth place in the Counties 1 Midlands West (South) league and was also a fitting way for Club legends, Craig Smith and Gareth Shuttleworth to celebrate their 200th first team appearances.

The visitors set the early pace when Josh Jones broke clear in his 22 metre zone and set his backline moving at pace. Passes were swapped between Centres, Toby Bruce and Patrick Northover, before winger, James Dunne was first to test the Earlsdon defence with a run.

However, on 17 minutes of play, the Earlsdon pack, which carried some force, won possession and quickly moved the ball wide, to their right wing. The speed of the attack caught Leamington cold and the home side raced in for a converted score.

But, just before the 30 minute mark, Leamington won a penalty in Earlsdon territory with Josh Jones sprinting over after a good passing move. Dunne added the conversion.

Shortly after, Dunne scored an interception try, before adding the conversion.

But the Earlsdon pack then got their side back into the game with a well-worked, converted, score before Leamington retook the lead with a magical try.

Attacking deep into the Earlsdon 22 metre area, Leamington, under immense pressure from the home defenders, spun the ball to their left, at pace, finding Back Row, Ed Gray.

In one, blink of the eye moment, the talented Gray rifled the ball through his legs to Northover who darted over in the corner. Dunne was just off target with the conversion attempt.

Leamington had to weather a battering from the Earlsdon forwards in the second period, with Northover putting in a try saving tackle to halt one attack, before they fell to another converted score.

Although behind now, Leamington still looked the side with enough flair to create scoring opportunities. The decisive chance came when Lewis Kelsey took the ball at the base of the scrum and worked the ball up the wing, before Chris John sprinted in for the winning try.