Six-try Southam create history at Leamington

Leamington debutant Kenny Kwok is held up with the try line beckoning.
Leamington debutant Kenny Kwok is held up with the try line beckoning.
  • Midlands Two West (South)
  • Leamington 14 Southam 34

Southam ran in six tries to record their first-ever win at Leamington.

Southam were on the scoresheet as early as the fourth minute after stealing Leamington’s lineout ball. Centre Tom Grimes, grandson of Leamington stalwart Tony, drew in the home defence before slipping a neat pass to Sam Bench who stepped the first defender and burst through a second to score.

The visitors went further ahead with another unconverted score in the 13th minute.

Bench came off his opposite wing to cut through the defence and the ball was recycled inside for wing-forward Pete Burnell who cut back against the pass and touched down with two tacklers for company.

Leamington remained in the game thanks to some loose final passes from their visitors and were handed an unexpected lifeline just past the half-hour mark with a try out of nothing. Southam gave away a penalty deep in their half and the quick-thinking Craig Smith took possession, broke through three tackles and dived over.

When Tom Jewitt nailed the conversion it looked as though the home side were back in contention.

However, the restart brought more problems for the hosts.

Smith fielded the dropout ball cleanly and set it up for a simple clearance which was fumbled and the ball was gratefully scooped up by Will Wood who ran in uncontested from the 22. Wood’s conversion restored Southam’s seven-point cushion at the interval.

The second half brought little early respite for the home side as Southam immediately broke down the wing and scored in the nearside corner through Bench.

Leamington responded positively with a break from Lewis Kelsey putting them in a good position. Sustained pressure was matched by superb defensive work from Southam, with Leamington prop Scott Peters denied by a last-ditch try-saving tackle from Ally Thorpe.

This promising spell did finally gain its reward when Harry Gooch, Pete Blunt and Kelsey exchanged quick passes to give skipper Smith just enough room to force his way over.

Jewitt coolly slotted over the conversion to bring it back to 22-14.

However, Southam eventually regained their grip on the game in the closing stages and from a lineout on the half-way line, a short ball from Hewson provided Thorpe, cutting in from the blindside wing, with a big hole to exploit.

After being brought down on the 22, Thorpe fed Woods out of the tackle and he drew the last man before releasing full-back Lewis Dodds for the try.

In the final five minutes Leamington tried to force the game but the Southam defence forced them back and eventually the ball was spilled. Wing-forward Ciaran Akford accepted the gift, running in unopposed for try number six, converted by Wood.