Injury woes contribute to Leamington’s collapse

Leamington's Alex Carroll puts his side on the attack at Spartans. Picture: Gina Ruyssevelt
Leamington's Alex Carroll puts his side on the attack at Spartans. Picture: Gina Ruyssevelt
  • Midlands Two West (South)
  • Spartans 34 Leamington 5

Leamington’s injury hoodoo struck again at Spartans with the loss of key personnel contributing to them shipping four second-half tries.

The trip to Spartans has become a bit of a nightmare for Spa and Saturday was no different with influential number eight Craig Smith departing with a rib injury.

Spartans were quickly out of the blocks but their initial onslaught was brought to an abrupt end by the intervention of a bone-crunching Simon Harry tackle.

Leamington responded with a mesmeric run from winger Jamie Harrison. Then Craig Smith and Danny Phillips exchanged passes and nearly got Harrison away again and it was clear that the winger’s pace could be a problem for the hosts.

The Coleshill outfit have a solid pack and when Leamington allowed them too much time to get up a head of steam, they took full advantage with a pushover try.

The hosts almost scored again from the restart. However a dropped pass, one of many unforced errors, allowed Leamington to clear their lines.

Spartans continued to put Leamington under pressure but robust defending and some poor handling restricted them to just one further penalty goal.

As the half drew to a close, Leamington produced some of their trademark vision, with a superb score.

Smith crashed through the Spartans pack, claimed possession and sent out a pass to Ross Waterhouse. The centre had Alex Carroll and Nathan Earland in support and the duo combined to get the ball into the hands of the fleet-footed Harrison. As the defence closed in, Harrison chipped the ball ahead, gave chase and won the race to touch it down.

Earland was just off target with the difficult conversion.

The hosts will have been disappointed that all their pressure had only won them a three-point lead but the second period proved to be a somewhat different affair.

Injury issues and an inability to cope with the power of the home pack combined to see Leamington concede four tries with Spartans using the pace of their attack to maximum effect.