Olney take a top three scalp for the second week in a row
Report by Jim Ford
OLNEY vs. Luton. Sat. 20.01.2018
Olney welcomed Luton to the Rec. on Saturday for the re-run of the fixture abandoned on 16th. Dec. due to referee malfunction.
The visitor's kicked off and the home side counter attacked gaining a lineout when a Luton carrier was forced into touch. The early play was mainly in Luton territory and the Olney forwards dictated most of the moves. From a penalty they gained a lineout within 10m. of the visitor's goal line, and released their three quarters. They caught the Luton backs offside with the penalty kicked to touch. The forwards drove the maul over the goal line but the ball was declared 'held up' and a scrum was awarded. A great break from Eliot Simpson nearly lead to a try but the referee was playing advantage for another penalty for a tackle without the ball. Instead of kicking to touch Jordan Letts kicked to the far wing, with Marcus Goss catching the ball and touching down. There was no conversion and Olney took the lead after 6 mins. Score: Olney 5, Luton 0.
Luton kicked off to restart and their long kick went 'dead' over the home goal line. From the '22' drop out Luton were awarded a penalty, the first of a series, to and against both sides, due, no doubt, to the wet and muddy conditions. The next scoring opportunity came from a penalty awarded to Luton, at a scrum. Their '9', Rik Hobbs was on target and closed the score to Olney 5, Luton 3. Olney 5, Luton 0. After 17 mins.
Following the restart Olney kicked to touch for a lineout to Luton on their 10m line. When the ensuing maul collapsed, one of the Luton front row was penalised and yellow carded, for 'use of the boot'! The resulting kick was in range and Manson added the goal to extend the lead : Olney 8, Luton 3. (23 mins.)
Luton restarted the game and the next passage of play saw the visitors attempting to break down the home defence. Olney managed to deny the Luton attack and were able to extend their lead from another successful penalty kick by Manson. Score: Olney 11, Luton 3. (35 mins.)
The home side made their first substitution, George Stanton replacing Jeremiah Shields.
Olney were compelled to contain the visitor's efforts to gain advantage in the territory stakes. The forwards and backs defended well until Luton converted pressure into points and Aiden Kering scored a try in the corner. There was no conversion. Score: Olney 11 Luton 8. The referee blew his whistle for half time.
HALF TIME: Olney 11, Luton 8.
Olney took to the field for the second half, with Cameron Kok replacing Mark Austin at lock. They kicked off and the next ten minutes, or so, were littered with interruptions and the players becoming less recognisable due to the colours of the strips becoming uniformly 'mud'. Olney substituted Brandon Kerr for Dave Smith at centre. Smith was soon back in the action however, replacing Simpson, who had been injured.
With the penalty count, at this stage, in the home side's favour they were able to use the touchline to their advantage. The line out were working well for them and the set scrums were fairly even. Brandon Kerr's inclusion gave an extra dimension to the tactics of the Olney backs but the vast majority of the ball was played very tight in the forwards with lots of pick and drive.
Finally an attacking move by the home backline took play into the Luton '22'. At the breakdown Olney gained the 'put in' at a scrum. They won the ball and drove over the Luton goal line after multiple forward continuity. Cam Kok touched down for the try, not converted, Score: Olney 16, Luton 8. (33 mins).
Luton attacked from the kick off and were awarded a penalty. They drove towards the Olney line and won a series of attacking scrums and line outs. Olney were forced to defend for a number of phases until they managed to break out of their half, Gareth Cahill at '8' picking up off the back of a scrum and running the ball into the Luton '22'. Luton were awarded a penalty at the breakdown and kicked to touch for the last play of the game.
FULL TIME: Olney 16, Luton 8.
Rumour has it that Luton were not very happy after the game before Christmas was abandoned, although they were behind at the close of play. They may well be less happy now!
This was another well earned win, all the players and the subs. should be congratulated for their play, and the entertainment of a good number of supporters.
TEAM: Jim Osborn (capt.) Graham Smith, Jeremiah Shields, Christian Caswell, Mark Austin
Isaac Shields, Ryan Hammett, Gareth Cahill
Eliot Simpson, Marcus Goss, David Smith, Hamish Bull, Rob Matthews, Jordan Letts
SUBS: Cameron Kok, George Stanton, Brandon Kerr
TEAM SPONSOR: DESMOND J. SMAIL LTD.