MEN'S RUGBY: Bunn scores two but ONs are edged out
Old Northamptonians suffered an agonising 33-31 defeat in their National League 3 Midlands battle with Longton.
ONs took the lead as Ted Bunn dived over, but Longton responded with two tries from Sam Longtaff.
But Lewis Barker soon caught the home side off guard with a quickly taken penalty and after making ground he found Drew Hudson in support.
That ONs try was converted by Ollie Burgess, who brought the scores level as the half drew to a close.
Further ONs pressure produced two yellow cards for Longton in quick succession but the visitors were unable to capitalise.
Longton made light of being down to 13 men as the second half began, with Joe Clowes finishing off a sweeping move.
Rhys Hughes was then sin-binned for ONs but Longton soon saw yellow for a third time.
ONs capitalised this time as Rory Seymour scored, and Bunn registered his second try soon after.
Tim Cardall then drove over from close range to add ONs’ fifth try and Longton endured yet another sin-binning.
Successful conversions from Burgess took ONs 31-19 up but Kieran Healey reduced the deficit before Barker was sent to the bin.
And ONs eventually succumbed thanks to a George Glenn score and the successful conversion.
Leicester Forest 18 Olney 20
JAMES HAWKEN was the hero as his 20 points helped Olney secure a narrow win at Leicester Forest.
The home side got the first points on the board via a penalty and increased their lead with an unconverted try.
But Olney responded with a Hawken try and the same player converted to cut the gap to just one point at the break.
And Hawken was dotting down again early in the second half as he latched on to an Ollie Simmons pass to score out wide.
He converted again to make it 14-8 with just three minutes of the second period having elapsed.
Hawken added a penalty nearly 20 minutes later, but Leicester Forest responded with a score and conversion.
That meant there were just two points between the teams and Forest took the lead with a penalty.
But, fittingly, Hawken had the final say, keeping his nerve with a last-gasp penalty to secure the win.
Forest could have won it with the last kick of the match, but they missed.
Towcestrians’ title charge is on hold after a serious injury halted their game against Trowbridge at Greens Norton Road last Saturday.
Tows flew into the lead and had easily racked up the try bonus point they wanted by the time a Trowbridge’s Gareth Davies suffered a horrific leg injury.
It meant an air ambulance was required and with a number of visiting players in shock and concerned for their team-mate, referee George Richardson abandoned the game.
Tows have been awarded the win and remain five points clear of second-placed Salisbury with two games left as the South West 1 East title race looks set to go down to the wire.
Tows were in total control against Trowbridge before the abandonment, with Matt Yuill, Alex Chalcraft, Sam Sturley, Ben Roe, Scott Browne and Yuon Skelton all on the scoresheet.
James Falvey kicked five conversions before the injury cut the game short.
Tows’ next league game is at High Wycombe on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Tows IIs looked to have a difficult game away to National League 2 North side South Leicester, but it was to end in a convincing win. Tows were 83-0 victors.
Meanwhile, Towcestrians Colts beat Daventry 57-12.
Heathens 26 Sharnbrook & Colworth 17
Heathens overturned a 17-point deficit to claim victory in their last merit table fixture of the season.
Fielding a side featuring multiple changes, Heathens took a while to settle and allowed their visitors to take a big lead with tries on two, 23 and 25 minutes.
But The Romany-based Heathens regained their composure and exerted pressure on Sharnbrook’s line.
Sam Berry supported a move to make the pressure pay in the form of a try.
The first-half scoring was concluded when flanker Rory Evans-Beale exploited a Sharnbrook fumble and popped a pass to skipper Marty Campbell who dived over for a score that was converted by Simon Smith.
After 53 minutes some loose possession in the Sharnbrook back line was well exploited by Mark Allison who crossed under the posts for a try converted by Smith, giving Heathens a narrow 19-17 lead.
And Berry added another try late on, with Smith’s conversion rounding off a fine fightback.
Having completed their merit table campaign, Heathens have a friendly against Northampton Outlaws at Rushmere Road on Saturday (3pm).