Olney see off Kenilworth to get first win on the board
Olney picked up their first win of the season as they saw off Kenilworth 22-14 in the Midlands Intermediate Cup on Saturday.
On the road for the second time in as many games, were again forced to change the line up due to non availability, with only eleven of last week's squad turning out. Both sides lined up before kick-off for a minutes silence, in memory of long time member of Olney RFC , Joe Dorrill.
Olney kicked off and immediately impressed, following the kick and gaining an attacking scrum inside the home '22'. Gareth Cahill picked up off the back and attacked, Kenilworth were penalised at the breakdown and Olney elected to kick to touch for a line out 5m from the home goal line. The visitors won the ball and put flanker Ryan Hammett in for a try out wide - his debut try for the first team - to put Olney 5-0 up after seven minutes.
Kenilworth restarted and Olney counter attacked taking play again into Kenilworth's '22'. A knock on relieved the pressure allowing the home side to clear but the visitors managed to steal the ball in a forwards encounter and used their backs to take play back into the home '22'. However a penalty for 'not rolling away' gave Kenilworth the opportunity to clear again. They were awarded a further penalty and they ran the ball but were stopped by good cover in the visitor's back line.
At the next breakdown Olney were awarded a scrum and winning the ball they fed to Jordan Letts at '10' who kicked long. A good chase by Hamish Bull claimed possession for the visitors who followed up in numbers. Hamish gathered a long pass from Lett’s and touched down to register Olney's second try, converted by Kieran Manson at '9', from the touchline, extending the visitor's lead to 12-0.
Kenilworth kicked off, Olney counter attacked, but were halted when a penalty took the pressure off the home side. The home side's advantage was frustrated when they knocked on and Olney won the ball at the scrum. A further misdemeanour, in a maul, gave the visitors a penalty which was put into touch on Kenilworth's 10m line and then a further penalty took them within striking distance of the Olney line. The home forwards won the ball and drove over for a try, centre Simon Tyler converted to close the score to 12-7.
The kick off Kenilworth returned the ball to touch giving the visitors a throw in near the home 10m line. Kenilworth strayed offside at the line out and Olney kicked for touch near the home goal line. Olney won the ball at the line out and Hammett added his second try as part of a driving maul, converted by Manson, taking Olney's lead to 19-7 after 32 minutes.
As the first half ticked to a close Olney endeavoured to put the pressure on the home side. This resulted from good work in the backs, particularly from Marcus Goss at centre and No 8 Cahill providing the link from the forwards. Olney created chances but Kenilworth defended gallantly and saved a further try, when Olney forced themselves over the line but the ball was declared 'held up'.
Kenilworth kicked off for the second half and immediately gained possession but after a series of attacks were penalised on the visitor's 5m line. They appeared to be a completely different side to that of the first half. They attacked the visitors through their forwards and backs and Olney were committed to some serious defending.However it wasn't all one sided and the visitors were relieved to be awarded a penalty halfway in Kenilworth's half following a series of runs. They kicked for touch and had the throw in at a line out 5m from the home goal line. Olney's forwards went for the drive over but could not ground the ball. At the ensuing scrum Carhill picked up and Kenilworth were caught offside. Manson slotted the penalty for Olney, to increase their lead to 22-7 on the hour mark.
Throughout the remaining 20 mins. Olney were subjected to an onslaught, but their defence both in the forwards and behind the scrum held out. The only breach came when after a series of attacks the Kenilworth outside centre punched a hole through and touched down. The try was converted taking the score to 22-14, at which it stayed to see Olney through.