Leaders Olney remain on top after thrashing Vipers

Olney are in cruise control in Midlands 2 East (South) after thrashing Leicester Vipers 38-12.

The host side kicked off and Olney returned the ball gaining possession from consecutive lines out. Marcus Goss had a trial run, at the Vipers defence but was bundled into touch. Vipers won the ball at the lineout and kicked to touch. A quick throw-in gave Goss just enough space to shred the home defence and touch down for a try, converted by Brendan Burke.

Following their kick-off vipers were awarded a penalty for offside and they pinned the visitors down in their area. There followed a period of play when the action was choreographed to a tune on the referee’s whistle. Olney made the next contribution to the score, awarded a penalty inside the vipers 22 they ran the ball and Burke placed a near perfect kick to the corner for Goss to beat the full back and touchdown for his second try.

The visitor’s pack were working hard and succeeded in quashing attempts by the home players to break their duck. This most frustrating situation for Vipers received another blow when Euan Irwin interrupted a move by the home backs to score an unconverted try. The score moved on to 17-0.

Vipers kicked off and Olney counter-attacked through their forwards. They were stopped before they reached the halfway line and put the ball out to Goss on the wing. He evaded the Vipers defence and ran in his third try, Lloyd Sweeny, assuming the place-kicking role, was successful with the conversion as Olney took a 24-0 lead into the break.

Olney made a change of players for the second half Stu Livesey replacing Brendan Burke. Olney kicked off but not to the referee’s satisfaction, so the kick was retaken. Vipers counter attacked and ran the ball in their backs. The visitors gained possession at the breakdown and ran the ball back. They took play into Vipers 22 and were awarded a scrum. Winning the ball, they drove for the line, and a forwards try. The touchdown was made by Jim Osborn, Sweeny added the conversion for 31-0.

Vipers kicked off, Olney counterattacked. The play was mainly in the home half of the pitch and largely a contest dominated by the forwards. Olney changed props Graham Smith coming on for David Rainbow. From a brace of penalties awarded in their favour, Olney was able to keep the ball and call the shots. The confidence of the visitors in their forwards was evident when they opted to take scrums, not kicks, for penalties. This was proved when they opted for a scrum 10m. from the home goal line. Olney won the ball and skipper Gareth Carhill, at 8, picked up and fed to Goss who touched down for his fourth try. Sweeny added the conversion for a 38 point lead.

From the kickoff, Vipers followed up to gain possession in the visitors 22 Olney won the ball from a ruck and kicked to touch. The kick was taken outside Olneys 22; and went out on the full, giving Vipers a lineout in an attacking position. They made a substitution that gave them new life. They won the lineout and were on the attack, unfortunately, they knocked on.

Olney won the scrum but lost the advantage, they knocked on. The visitors made a change Chris Caswell replacing Ollie Fearis. Vipers awarded a penalty, kicked to touch for a lineout 5m. from the visitor’s goal line. They won the ball and drove for the line, Dean Clark made the touchdown and Vipers were on the scorecard.

Play resumed with a series of interruptions for penalties, most of them to Vipers advantage. Olney made another change in their forwards, Charlie Harris coming off, replaced by Fearis. Another change was thrust upon the visitors, the referee dispatching Euan Irwin by virtue of a yellow card. Vipers claimed the last score of the match, running in a try by Sam Kerr, who ran half the length of the pitch to score under the posts. Converted by Robbie Carr for mere consolation.