Pinley 50 Leamington 23: Improved second-half showing earns Leamington a bonus point at Pinley

Tryscorer Scott Peters works hard to get Leamington going against Pinley. Picture: Gina Ruyssevelt
Tryscorer Scott Peters works hard to get Leamington going against Pinley. Picture: Gina Ruyssevelt

Leamington were unable to build on last week’s heroic performance against Old Leamingtonians, coming out distinctly second-best against a very solid, well-managed Pinley side.

Despite having the better of the play in the opening minutes, Spa failed to cope with Pinley’s first attack and conceded a converted score.

Leamington then lost the ball while in a strong attacking position and stood back and watched as the well-drilled Pinley attack sent the ball along the back line to their left-winger, who raced in to score from distance.

Leamington responded with a break from Gareth Shuttleworth, with support from the pack.

This good work earned a penalty and, from the resulting lineout, they drove the ball at pace to the line. As the ball became free, Danny Ruyssevelt was first to react and dived in at the corner to get his side on the scoresheet.

Any thoughts of a revival were quickly snuffed out as Pinley responded with some more dynamic play.

Using the ball from a swiftly taken lineout, they sent in a deft chip that caught Leamington flat-footed, allowing the Pinley attacker the opportunity to outpace the visitors and score.

Further problems came in the dying moments of the half as Pinley won the ball at a line-out and quickly formed a rolling maul, which powered over to gain a converted score and a 24-5 interval lead.

After a first period in which they had not been at the races, Leamington started the second half with more vitality.

Mark Baldwin used good lineout ball to break through the home defence and win a penalty which Jim Robertson slotted over.

They then produced a touch of class as Robertson sent in a huge, crossfield kick that Jamie Harrison latched on to. Relishing the challenge, he took on the home defence and his pace saw him able to charge over for a try.

Typical of the pattern of the game, all of Leamington’s hard work was quickly undone as they lost possession and allowed Pinley to score a converted try.

This was quickly followed up by two further converted scores by the home side and the game was well and truly over.

Leamington did, however, focus on the possibility of a bonus point for four tries and worked hard to achieve it.

Baldwin, once again, was the catalyst to a third score as he broke through the Pinley defence and linked up with Dan Kane, who powered through to score.

Then Leamington made good ground up the nearside wing and were just held up short of the line. They won a penalty from this position and Scott Peters was immediately alert to the situation, taking possession to bulldoze over and earn the visitors a bonus-point reward.

Pinley, by far the better side on the day, had the final say with an unconverted score.