Olney Vs Five Ways Old Edwardians
By Jennie Miles
Heroic Olney performance ends in defeat
Olney ladies headed across to second in the league Five Ways Old Edwardians on a chilly Sunday for their first game of December.
Although Olney were a player down from the start, they chased the kick off well and good defence put pressure on Five Ways who struggled to get out of their own half.
A great turnover allowed Olney to mount their own attack and after a few forward phases the ball was shipped out to the backs who made a break into the Five Ways’ 22. The Five Ways defence held strong but good recycling allowed the Olney forwards to move their way towards the 5. Quick ruck ball allowed Nikki Moore to get a quick pass out to Jennie Miles on a blind loop and she went over to score the first points of the game (0-5).
Despite Olney being a player down, the majority of the game was evenly contested. Five Ways did make use of the extra man however, when a quickly recycled ruck saw the ball passed out through their backs, utilising the overlap to score in the corner (5-5).
Play continued largely within the two 22m lines with both teams attacking but not being able to find a way through. The Olney pack were well drilled and accurate at the lineout and worked hard to retain the ball in the scrum. Despite a lot of pressure they managed to get the ball back well and the Olney backs looking dangerous with ball in hand. Five Ways, however, maintained the upper hand at the breakdown.
The young Olney centres, up against much more experienced opposition, showed great determination in both attack and defence. A great run from Charlotte Denny saw her make it through a few tackles and get to the 22 before being brought down.
Five Ways went down to 14 when one of their players was sin binned for a deliberate knock on. Olney used the even numbers effectively and moved their way up the pitch. A great run from Meg Edwards down the wing saw Olney once again in the opposition’s 22. Olney showed great patience in attack recycling the ball well and playing some good patterns. Strong runs from forwards and backs pulled in the opposition defence. The ball was then passed down the line to find Leah Thomas who went over to score the visitors’ second try. Jennie Miles converted this to make it 5-12.
Olney went down to 13 players when Jen Micklewright was harshly yellow carded for being slow to get back 10 for a penalty. This allowed Five Ways to once again use the player advantage to score in the corner for the last play of the half. A missed conversion meant Olney went in at half time with a narrow lead (10-12). Despite conceding the try at the end of the half it was Olney that went into the break the happier of the two sides.
Five Ways started the second half well recognising that Olney were having to play without a full backline. A kick over the top found grass allowing Five Ways to take the lead with a try under the posts which was converted (17-12).
Olney responded better from the next restart, still playing positive rugby when they had the opportunity. The game was fairly even with play moving up and down the pitch with some strong running and defence from both sides. Five Ways eventually forced their way into the Olney 22. A quickly taken penalty caught the Olney defence off guard and allowed Five Ways to crash over the line to score (24-12). Unfortunately Nikki Moore was deemed to not having gone back 10 before trying to make the tackle on the line and was therefore sent to the bin.
Regaining the extra player advantage Five Ways continued to put pressure on the defence and despite some great tackling they managed to score again taking the score to 31-12.
Shortly after Nikki came back on to the pitch a Five Ways player was sin binned for the same offence which once again evened out the teams.
With ten minutes to go a Five Ways kick was collected by Meg Edwards in the Olney 22 and she took advantage of the broken defensive line to sprint down the wing to score in the left corner (31-17).
The last minutes of the game saw Olney under pressure on their own 5 metre line. A brilliant scrum from the pack gave the backs the ball under their own posts and with a couple of well timed passes from Amanda Kinder and Ellie Fletcher the ball went out to Meg on the wing who broke a tackle and found a hole in the defence to make a brilliant break up the right hand side of the pitch. The Five Ways full back just managed to bring her down 5 metres from the tryline. The referee awarded a penalty for holding on and Five Ways kicked the ball dead to end the game 31-17.
Olney could be incredibly proud of their performance starting with 14 players and down to 13 for 20 minutes of the match.