Olney on top as they slide past Vipers
Olney remain level on points at the top of Midlands 2 East after a 19-8 win over Leicester Vipers on Saturday.
Vipers kicked off and the niggle factor entered proceedings right from the start. The visitors conceded a penalty for a high tackle and Olney used it to gain a lineout on Vipers 10m. line. The visitors responded taking play back to Olney's '22' and were awarded a penalty, they kicked for goal without success.
From the '22' drop out Olney followed up taking play into Vipers territory. They used their backline to deliver the ball to Stu Livesey, on the wing, who made a good run through the visitor's defence and touchdown in the corner. The try was unconverted but Olney led 5-0 after eight minutes.
Vipers kicked off to restart and Olney counter attacked. A contest between the two packs paid off for the home side, scrum half, Rhys Gregory squeezed through for a try, converted by Jordan Letts to extend the home sides lead to 12-0.
The close contact in some scrappy loose play finally lead to Olney losing the service of their prop forward, Graham Smith, and Vipers their Lock at '5' both invited to take 10 mins. 'rest'. Re arranging their front row had an adverse effect on the Olney pack and the next score was claimed by the visitor's forwards combining to score in the corner for 12-5.
From the restart Olney gained territory but cold hands and a wet ball combined to produce a period of play not particularly watchable from the sidelines. With both sides more effective in defence than attack the scoreboard was pretty static. As half time approached the visitors were awarded a penalty in front of goal. Their outside half was successful and Vipers reduced the lead to 12-8 by the half time break.
Olney kicked off for the second half and the niggle fact was stoked up by frustration on both sides. A string of penalties, both sides being guilty, produced no score for the first fifteen minutes. A line out near the visitors goal line produced an opportunity for Graham Smith to make amends for his misdemeanour in the first half. The pack drove a maul to the visitors line and he touched down. Letts added the conversion to put Olney 19-8 to the good - enough to claim.