Luck goes against Leamington in narrow defeat to Earlsden

Battling Leamington had the luck go against them as they were beaten 28-24 by Earlsdon.

Leamington winger Jim Reed charges forward. Pic by Ken Pinfold.
Leamington winger Jim Reed charges forward. Pic by Ken Pinfold.
Leamington winger Jim Reed charges forward. Pic by Ken Pinfold.

The pattern of the game was characterised in the opening seconds of play when a seemingly innocuous Earlsdon attack, in the Leamington 22 area, resulted in a “penalty try” and a yellow card.

This setback was nothing compared to what followed, as soon after, the home side lost influential Centre and play-maker, Harry Johnson, to what turned out to be a broken leg.

From this disastrous start, Leamington regained some composure with a strong run from Toby Bruce that culminated in a lineout, deep in the Earlsdon danger zone.

From this good attacking position, Leamington gained a penalty and in a flurry of activity, Gareth Shuttleworth stepped in to claim the all-important try.

Leamington continued to attack and a neat chip ahead, from Fly-Half, Brad James, was almost snapped up by Greg Atherton, on the far side wing.

The Earlsdon squad were also having a positive time on the attack, adding another a penalty. Then, in another incursion, only a try-saving tackle from Jim Reed prevented a score. They did, however, continue to press and were rewarded with a second, converted try.

The expected response from Leamington was not long coming and the home side got back on the scoresheet with a clever passage of play, leading to a Nathan Batchelor try.

Earlsdon hit the ground running at the start of the second period with a try before the home side replied with the top try of the afternoon. They secured possession at a lineout deep in their own half and an opening for winger, Jim Reed resulted.

With some 50 metres ahead of him, together with a number of Earlsdon defenders to cope with, Reed brushed aside all attempts to halt his run and powered through for a superb individual score. Brad James capped this explosive display with the conversion.

Earlsdon were able to steady their nerves with a couple of penalty goals, however, when Reed once again raced through for his second try of the afternoon, converted by James, the final minutes of the match were a tense time for the visitors.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​