Olney end season with win after early scare
By Fraser Bull
Report by Jim Ford (thanks Jim for all your reports this season)
Huntingdon vs. Olney 13.04.2019. Midlands 2 East (South).
Olney travelled to Huntingdon on Saturday for their final league match of the season. At the top of the league they faced the bottom placed team. With their lead over the second placed team 5 points they could lose this game and still retain first place on the countback.
The home side kicked off and it was immediately apparent that they were intent to overturn the obvious. They gave the visiting supporters and their players a severe jolt. Awarded a penalty, Huntingdon kicked for a lineout on Olney’s ‘22’. Olney won the ball and the home side attempting to reclaim it knocked on. Things looked good for the visitors, but they in turn knocked on. At the scrum Huntingdon won the ball and fed out to their ‘10’, Sam Hirron, he cut through the Olney defence to touch down. He was also successful with the conversion, giving Huntingdon the lead after 7 mins. Huntingdon 7, Olney 0.
Olney kicked off, against the wind, up the slope, and facing a formidable, heavy set of forwards. Olney were over anxious at times and some promising attacks were upset by errors plus the close attention of the home defence. The home side were determined, and when awarded a penalty, they kicked for a lineout between the visitor’s 10 and 22 m. lines. They won the ball and at the breakdown were awarded a scrum 10 m. from Olney’s goal line. Huntingdon used their weight to win good ball and score their second try. Barry West made the touch down and there was no conversion. Huntingdon 12, Olney 0. (12 mins.).
Olney kicked off to restart, striving to put points on the scoreboard (hypothetical, they don’t have one!).
Olney tightened up their defence, but continued to be frustrated in their attacks. As half time approached Olney were unfortunate in having to substitute skipper Gareth Cahill, injured, replaced by Charlie Harris. The game moved on and the score remained unchanged at half time.
HALF TIME SCORE: Huntingdon 12, Olney 0.
Olney kicked off for the second half, now with the wind at their backs and the slope in their favour. Huntingdon returned the ball to touch for a lineout to the visitors on their 10 m. line. Olney won the ball and fed out to the threes. A forward pass gave possession to the home side. They won the scrum but lost the ball. Olney attacked and the forwards drove for the Huntingdon goal line. Hooker Jim Osborn made the touch down and Jordan Marshall converted successfully. Huntingdon 12, Olney 7. (5 mins).
Olney counter attacked from the kick off and gained a lineout on the home ‘22’. They won the ball and fed the backs. This time they eliminated the errors and Dave ‘Smudge’ Smith touched down under the posts. Marshall added the conversion. Huntingdon 12, Olney 14. (10 mins.).
Huntingdon kicked off and having edged in front Olney tightened up their game. Their defence improved and the errors were less frequent. It was far from a one-sided event and Olney had to defend well to protect their goal line. The visitor’s backline continued to test the home defence, and the next score was by Harry James who found a gap and ran in a try, converted by Marshall. Huntingdon 12, Olney 21. (29 mins.).
Following the restart Olney attacked and were awarded a penalty, they kicked to touch for a lineout. The forwards won good ball and fed their backs. They broke the home defence and Euan Irwin ran in a try. Marshall was again on target. Huntingdon 12, Olney 28. (34 mins. + time out)
Huntingdon kicked off to restart an Olney counter attacked, they ran the ball and at the breakdown the home side were penalised. Olney kicked for the lineout and won the ball driving the pack they combined with the backline and John Robinson made the touch down, for a try. No conversion Huntingdon 12, Olney33. (40 mins + timeout)
Huntingdon kicked off and were awarded a penalty on the visitor’s ‘22’ This was followed by another penalty to the home side, 5m. out from the Olney’s goal line. Huntingdon ran the ball and Will Gould touched down for an unconverted try. Huntingdon 17, Olney 33. The ref. called ‘No Side’.
FULL TIME SCORE: Huntingdon 17, Olney 33.
Footnote. Olney Scrum half Marshall was subbed after his fourth successful conversion, two from wide out, one each side.
The score line confirmed that Olney are the undisputed winners of their league.
Played 22. Won 20. Lost 2. Pts. For 659. Pts. Against 335. (Bonus Pts. 16.) Total Pts. 96
Congratulations to: Skipper: Gareth Cahill. All players who turned out. Coach: Dan Seal. Asst. Coach: Brendan Burke. Playing Comm. Chairman: Steve Micklewright. Physio: Sinead Kirchin. Touch Judge: Nick Deighton.
TEAM: Graham Smith, Jim Osborn, David Rainbow, Ollie Fearis, Mark Austin, John Robinson, Christian Caswell, Gareth Carhill (capt.) Jordan Marshall, Stu Livesey, Sean Mulvey, Harry James, Dave Smith, Sean Mulvey, Marcus Goss, Lloyd Sweeney
SUBS: Taylor French, Ollie Ferris, Harry James.
TEAM SPONSORS: S.R.OSBORN & SON LTD. DBF CONSTRUCTION