Olney raise their game to beat Oundle
Match Report by Jim Ford
Olney on home turf, were hosts to Oundle on Saturday, they kicked off facing a side two places above them in the league table. They followed up well and the visitors were relieved to put the ball into touch near the halfway line. The game ebbed and flowed for the first few minutes until Olney won the ball and attacked down the left wing. Brandon Kerr joined the line, from full back, and forced over in the corner to open the scoring. The conversion attempt from wide out didn't quite have the legs. Six minutes gone Olney 5 - Oundle 0.
The home side counter attacked from the restart and Kerr almost added a second try. The visitors claimed the ball from the ensuing ruck and kicked to touch 10m. from halfway. Olney's lineout won well and the forwards drove down the left hand touch line. They managed to create just enough space for Jake Deighton to sprint round the Oundle defence and touchdown. Patch Adamns struck the ball well to add the conversion, extending the lead to 12 - 0. after 10 mins.
Following the restart a forward pass gave Oundle the opportunity to win the ball at the scrum, and they gained further advantage from a penalty awarded for Olney's backs going offside. The visitors took the lineout option, putting the ball into touch near the home 10m. line. Adamns regained Olney some territorial advantage kicking to inside the visitor's '22'. Oundle cleared to touch and Olney won the lineout. They were denied good ball and Oundle won possession at the breakdown. The home side's pack were quickly up with positive play in defence, particularly the back row trio of Isaac Shields, Charlie Belcher and Gareth Cahill. Their effort was rewarded when following a number of stifled attempts from both sides to break through, Kerr and Cahill created a two on one situation, inside the visitor's, '22'. Kerr took the hit, offloaded to Cahill who cruised in for the touchdown. Adamns slotted the conversion, Olney 19 - Oundle 0. (25 mins.)
Shortly after the restart Olney's lock Charlie Harris was substituted, Peter TG coming on.
Play, approaching half time, was littered with penalties that were mainly against the home side and kicked to touch to gain territory. A driving maul following a pick up off the back of scrum resulted in a try for the visitor's '9', not converted. This was the last play of the first half. HALF TIME SCORE: OLNEY 19, OUNDLE 5.
Oundle kicked off and took play deep into the home '22'. They were awarded a penalty and opted for a scrum. The scrum collapsed and Olney's hooker Jake Ashton needed attention. Some time was added before he was taken off, Harris returning from the bench. The home sides numbers were depleted when scrum half Rich Cowan was 'yellow carded', no doubt he upset the referee. The upshot of this interruption was a well taken try, from the visitor's openside flanker off a wheeling scrum. The conversion added by their '9' reduced the difference to 19 - 12 (10 mins.)
Oundle attempted to up the pace but the Olney defence, though stretched, kept the score in their favour. Olney made another substitution Kerr coming off and Elliot Simpson going on.
The home pack raised their game a couple of notches and combined to attack down the right wing. They drove over the Oundle line, skipper Jim Osborn touching down in the corner. Adamns, with an excellent kick from the touch line, added the conversion. The fourth try secured a bonus point and extended the lead to Olney 26 - Oundle 12.
Oundle kicked off to restart and the referee penalised the home side on two successive counts (the refs. signals were unclear to be certain what for). The visitors took the maximum benefit, their '9' scoring a try that he converted to put the pressure on Olney at 26 - 19.
Apart from the visitor's '11' being yellow carded for 'foul' language, and Oundle being awarded another couple of penalties, the only other notable event was Dave 'Smudge' Smith came off the bench to atone for the lack of match time he enjoyed against Oundle, when playing against them in October.
FINAL SCORE: OLNEY 26, OUNDLE 19.
TEAM: George Stanton, Jake Ashton, Jim Osborn (capt.), Keegan Anderson, Charlie Harris, Isaac Shields, Charlie Belcher, Gareth Carhill.
Rich Cowan, Patch Adamns
Jake Deighton, Marcus Goss, Hamish Bull, Phil Bowden, Brandon Kerr.
SUBS.: Peter TG, Dave Smith, Elliot Simpson.
TEAM SPONSOR: DESMOND J. SMAIL LTD.