MEN’S RUGBY: Tows march on at the top after eighth win in a row

BATTLING FOR POSSESSION - action from ONs' narrow defeat to Sandbach
BATTLING FOR POSSESSION - action from ONs' narrow defeat to Sandbach

Towcestrians extended their lead at the top of South West 1 East with a 28-16 victory at Reading last Saturday.

Alex Chalcraft scored twice, with Murray Aitchison and the impressive Dave Stocks also registering to secure a bonus-point success, which now leaves the men from Greens Norton Road 13 points clear of second-placed Salisbury.

Tows have won eight successive league games and now take a break from those matters as they host Daventry in a cup match on Saturday.

Newark 5 Scouts 19

This was not a game for the rugby connoisseur as both players and spectators alike left the ground still wondering how neither side managed to score with the advantage of the slope and a strong chilling wind in their favour.

Scouts had the elements in their favour as they kicked off and were stunned to see the ball recycled to the Newark left winger who showed a clean pair of heels to outflank the surprised visitors and touch down in the corner.

The remainder of the half was mainly played in the hosts’ half but Scouts did not produce a score they arguably deserved.

Newark restarted after the break and were equally as surprised as their guests had been in the first half when left winger Alex McKie avoided despairing tackles to touch down for Frost to convert.

Having taken the lead, Scouts were intent on not relinquishing it and continued to keep the ball tight in the forwards to drive their 
way upfield at every opportunity.

It was not long before the lead was increased as Frost made clean break and Luke Reeves was on hand to finish off. Frost again added the extras.

The result was put beyond doubt when second row Richard Bussey received the ball in a lineout and wriggled through a tired defence.

With time running out, Newark made several attempts to cross Scouts line and give themselves a chance of a losing bonus point but Scouts’ heroic defence, even when two yellow cards had been issued, kept them at bay.

BBOB IIIs 5 Heathens 27

Heathens overcame many changes in personnel and positions to earn another welcome Youngs Bitter merit table success.

They took the lead after just five minutes as centre Jake Doyle made an incisive break and put Adam Smith away for an unconverted score.

The lead was short-lived as BB crossed for a try of their own, but second row Smith soon had Heathens back in front with a penalty.

The advantage was extended after 24 minutes when skipper and scrum half Marty Campbell dotted down.

Doyle then pounced on an error from the restart, crossing the line which made it 12 points scored in the space of just three minutes.

Heathens led 20-5 at the break and they were to add one more try before the end as No.8 Dan Stonehouse swiftly took a penalty to crash over for a try.

Smith put the icing on the cake with the successful conversion.

Next Saturday, Heathens remain in merit table action as they play at Corby with a 2.15pm kick-off.

Old Northamptonians 19 Sandbach 22

Old Northamptonians missed late chances to steal the victory as they fell to a narrow National League 3 Midlands defeat.

ONs had started well as Rhys Hughes was driven over the line, but Sandbach hit back immediately with winger James Kimber going over.

Sandbach soon scored again as full-back Stuart Butters strolled over and Kimber grabbed his second to put the away side in control.

And they had their bonus-point score with just 25 minutes gone as Jack Leech scored, leaving ONs with a mountain to climb.

But they started to scale it when a backs move came to fruition, giving Mike Bellamy a welcome score.

Rory Seymour’s conversion cut the gap to 10 points at the break and Tim Cardall soon reduced arrears further with a score after the restart.

Seymour’s conversion meant ONs were three points behind with 10 minutes remaining, but the home side were unable to make the breakthrough as they suffered defeat.

Meanwhile, Old Northamptonians IIs were convincing winners as they beat Wellingborough IIs 

Tries came from Scott Oldham (2), Dave Irvine, Phil Beaumont, Kern Routley and Kieran Murdie, who also added a penalty and two conversions.

Olney 31 Oakham 26

Olney just edged the second half as they secured a narrow Midlands 2 East South victory against Oakham.

The away side took the lead, but Olney responded as James Hawken teed up Phil Bowden for the score.

Both sides scored once more before the break, with Olney’s effort coming from John Robinson.

With the scores level at 12-12, Olney needed to step things up, but it was Oakham who started the second half better and they reclaimed the lead with a try.

Rich Cowan chased his own kick to score, bringing Olney back into it before Robinson registered his second try to give the hosts the lead for the first time.

And they kicked on as Phil Powell dotted down to put the game beyond Oakham, who did manage a late consolation via a penalty try.

Meanwhile, Olney IIs beat Oakham IIs 31-14, Olney IIIs beat Leighton Buzzard IIIs 17-10 and the Colts lost 22-5 at Towcestrians.