Olney and Oakham play out draw
Report by Jim Ford
OAKHAM vs. OLNEY Sat. 27th. January. 2018.
Olney travelled north to rural Rutland on Saturday for their league match against Oakham. They kicked off and Oakham attempted to return the ball to touch but, into the wind, the ball failed to go out. Olney ran the ball back with Hamish Bull feeding Marcus Goss who evaded the defence and fed the Olney forwards, following up, Jeremiah Shields touched down in the first minutes of the game. The conversion attempt failed, giving the visitors an early lead, Oakham 0, Olney 5.
This situation was very short lived. From the restart kick Oakham followed up and took play into Olney's '22'. Their forwards took advantage of the lack of cover and put centre, Leon Fiefield, in for try, well converted from wide out by Calem Krelling. This turned the score to Oakham's advantage 7 -5, within the first five minutes.
The following phases of play were mainly consumed by a contest between the forwards testing their ability to defend. During the next twenty minutes the game was littered with stoppages, a total of six scrums and seven penalties. The penalties were converted to line out which often then added to the scrum count. Inevitably the next score came from a successful penalty kick to goal. Krelling extending Oakham's lead to 10 - 5 (26 mins.).
Olney gained territory from a penalty kick enabling them to use the wind and gain throw in at a line out near the home goal line. They won the lineout and drove the maul. The ball was fed to the three's but knocked on. This reversed possession giving the home side the advantage at a scrum. The referee was not happy with the put in and awarded a free kick to Olney. The visitor's ran the ball and Gareth Cahill crossed the line to touch down for an unconverted try. Score: Oakham 10, Olney 10. (37 mins.). Sporadic play continued until the referee called 'Half time'.
HALF TIME SCORE: OAKHAM 10, OLNEY 10.
Oakham kicked off and Olney cleared the ball to touch, this gave the home side a line out and they won the ball to feed their back line. George Stanton, fresh off the bench, put in a big tackle to stop the move. Oakham, now with the wind advantage, worked the touch line. They took play into the visitor's '22' and won ball from the Olney line out, they took play to 10m. from the visitor's goal line. Olney won the ball in the loose play and kicked to clear their lines. The Oakham '15' fielded the kick and counter attacked but the move was spoiled, when the referee penalised the home side for 'crossing'.
The second half proved to be in very much the same patter as the first. Play was frequently interrupted by stoppages. The significant one for the visitor's was the loss of their scrum half, yellow carded at a scrum. This required Bull to move in from centre to cover the position.
Oakham attacked again from the penalty and took play into the visitor's half. Being a man down put pressure on the visitors and Oakham regained the lead with a try from Jamie Bullett, not converted, Score: Oakham 15, Olney 10. (12 mins.).
When the match was in it's last quarter, with the scrum half reinstated and Dave Smith coming off the bench, Olney managed to make inroads into home territory. They also benefited from being on the better side of the stoppage account which, for the second half exceeded that of the first half. The total (second half): scrums added up to seventeen and penalties to twelve.
After a significant amount of pressure and a number of near misses the final play of the afternoon resulted in a try by Olney's Charlie Harris, not converted to post the final score, Oakham 15, Olney 15 .
FULL TIME SCORE: OAKHAM 15, OLNEY 15
TEAM: Graham Smith Jim Osborn (capt.), Jeremiah Shields, Charlie Harris, Christian Caswell,
Isaac Shields, Ryan Hammett, Gareth Cahill,
Rich Cowan, Jordan Letts,
Marcus Goss, Matt Shotton, Hamish Bull, Will Edwards, Lloyd Sweeney.
SUBS: Sam Spruce, George Stanton, Dave Smith.
TEAM SPONSOR: DESMOND J. SMAIL LTD.