Leamington claimed their first win of the season at the fifth time of asking against the division’s whipping boys Old Yardleians.
Leamington had the upper hand in the early exchanges and it was no surprise when, following a lineout, they drove the visitors back at pace, allowing Gareth Shuttleworth the opportunity to touch down. In the gusting wind, Jim Robertson was just off target with the conversion attempt.
From the restart, prop Scott Peters took possession and set off on a strong run and when Garrett Bell improved on the move, Leamington forced a lineout. With possession claimed courtesy of John Brear, Leamington opened up the visitors’ defence. However, with the tryline begging, a fumbled pass meant the chance was wasted.
The lapse was soon forgotten when the hosts once again took lineout ball and worked it across the park for Bell to crash over to give his side a ten-point lead.
After securing possession from a lineout deep in the Yardleians half, Bell’s crucial intervention in the backline allowed Danny Ruyssevelt to outpace the visitors’ defence and give Leamington a 15-point advantage at the interval.
The Leamington pack, which was in good form all afternoon, set the platform for the first points of the second half. With possession secured from another lineout, the home forwards drove through the Yardleians defence, enabling Lewis Kelsey to get the ball down. Patrick Northover added the extras and, with the key fourth try achieved, the tension lifted from the hosts.
Forwards Scott Peters and Tom Lane then combined to unlock the defence and give Daniel Barber the chance to sprint under the posts to secure his first try for the club.
Ruyssevelt, returning from a long-term injury, got his side’s penultimate try and, almost from the restart, Shuttleworth made a superb break to claim a fine individual try.
Northover piled on the agony for the visitors by adding his fourth conversion of the afternoon.
In the final minutes, Toby Bruce was on hand to bring off a superbly timed tackle to preserve his side’s clean sheet.