Olney run in four second half tries to take bonus point win at Stamford
Report by Jim Ford
STAMFORD vs. OLNEY, Sat. 4th. Nov.. 2017.
Olney travelled to Stamford, on Saturday, to resume their League campaign. They kicked off, with the advantage of the slope, and following the home side returning the ball were awarded a penalty just inside their '22'. The ball was put into touch on the home 10m line and Olney won the line out. The pattern of play ebbed and flowed , both sides attempting to make the break through. The chance for Olney to take the lead came from a penalty awarded against Stamford, inside their '22'. The home side failed to retreat the necessary 10 m. and Olney ran the ball. They lost possession at the breakdown and Stamford were able to find touch near the halfway line. The next scoring opportunity went to Stamford. They were awarded a penalty on the visitor's '22' and opted for the line out, they won the ball and drove the maul for the goal line. Handling errors on both side resulted in scrums close to the visitor's goal line and Stamford ultimately produced the ball to put their full back, Jack Jones, in for a try, converted by James O' Shea to open the scoring: Stamford 7, Olney 0, after 15 mins.
Play for the remainder of the half was a succession of scrums and penalties. Olney benefitting on the penalty count 4:2 and Stamford on the scrum tally 3:2 but with no score. The visitors were performing well at the set piece, showing a noticeable improvement from their last league game. The back row of Charlie Harris, Isaac Shields and Gareth Cahill were effective in spoiling Stamford's attempts to attack and Mark Austin at lock was effective, in the lines out and on the loose ball.
No further score was forthcoming and at the interval the home side maintained their tenuous lead.
HALF TIME : STAMFORD 7, OLNEY 0.
Olney faced the kick off for the second half with Ryan Hammett, replacing Charlie Harris.
Following some aerial ping pong, Olney had to bring Harris back off the bench to replace Ollie Francis, who had been showing some form at lock but had picked up an injury.
The visitors were becoming more dominant in the forwards against a side that were having problems keeping a full side of fit players on the park. The backs also were showing more confidence although they were guilty of sometimes selecting the wrong option. Olney achieved their opening score, winning the ball at a scrum in Stamford's '22' and flanker Ryan Hammett touching down in the corner. A fine kick by Kieran Manson added the conversion and scores were even at : Stamford 7 Olney 7, 7 mins. into the half.
From the kick off Olney counter attacked and managed to keep play in the area between Stamford's 10 and 22m. lines. A further change in the forwards, for Olney, took David Rainbow off the bench replacing Jake Ashton in the front row. Olney made the next addition to the scoreboard, a penalty near the home 10m line was successfully converted by Manson, giving the visitor's the lead : 7 - 10 halfway through the session.
Olney replaced Jake Deighton, seasoned campaigner Dave (Smudge) Smith coming off the bench.
The visiting spectators didn't have to wait long for a further score, winning the ball from a lineout on the home throw, Manson fed the backline with James Vine creating a break and Elliot Simpson, at '10', collecting the offload to score under the posts. Manson added the conversion. This extended Olney's advantage to 7 - 17 (25 mins.). Lloyd Sweeney was replaced by Deighton.
Olney were now more sure of themselves and the injuries to the home sides squad were telling. Olney added a further try. A great break by Cahill, off the back of a scrum fed to Manson who scored and added the conversion. Score: 7 - 24. (33 mins.).
At the restart Olney were penalised for encroaching the 10m. area. The home side kicked for touch but from the lineout they lost the ball. The visitor's forwards mounted an attack, and at the breakdown a scrum was awarded to the home pack. Olney won against the head and fed the backs, giving Hamish Bull the chance to dissect the Stamford defence and touchdown for the important bonus point try! Manson added the conversion. 7 - 31 (37 mins.) to complete a perfect 5 out of 5 kicking performance.
But Stamford did not give up, from the restart they managed to gain a line out in the visitor's '22' followed by a scrum 5m. out from Olney's goal line. They won the ball and Rees Burns touched down for an unconverted try, on the stroke of full time!
FULL TIME: STAMFORD 12, OLNEY 31.
TEAM: Jim Osborn (capt.) Jake Ashton, Graham Smith, Mark Austin, Ollie Francis
Isaac Shields, Charlie Harris, Gareth Cahill
Kieran Manson, Elliott Simpson
James Vine, Jack Wilkinson, Hamish Bull, Jake Deighton, Lloyd Sweeney
SUBS: David Rainbow, Ryan Hammett, Dave Smith.
TEAM SPONSOR: DESMOND J. SMAIL LTD.