O’Shea bags a brace as Lions edge closer to title

Seamus O'Dwyer scored Banbury Lions at Bodicote Park
Seamus O'Dwyer scored Banbury Lions at Bodicote Park
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Banbury Lions took another big step towards the Warwickshire Second XV League title with a comfortable 44-7 win against Old Laurentians at Bodicote Park.

Lions exploited the width from the word go and, after repeatedly stretching the defence, the gaps started to open up for the hosts.

A flurry of tries quickly came thanks to Banbury’s excellent control of possession. First half tries from Keiran Fitzgibbon, Stevie Nutt, O’Shea and Alex Auld put Lions in charge of the contest.

There were consistent periods of the first half in which Old Laurentians failed to get any contact with the ball and were forced to defend in depth.

Lions exhibited great patience with their play, linking up several phases together and looked particularly dangerous when ball came into space.

Lions were also content to build pressure through the forwards. They quickly established dominance at the set-piece and gained ground through scrum and maul.

James Burge had a particularly strong game around the tight fringes, exploiting the gaps that appeared when Old Laurentians were forced to look wider to defend their line.

But the second half was a much closer affair with only three tries coming for O’Shea, Auld and Seamus O’Dwyer as the visitors tightened things up.

As the game started to break up, Old Laurentians tried to slow the ball at the breakdown. That led to Lions trying to keep the ball alive but it inevitably led to more knock-on’s and scrummages which slowed the pace of the game down.

Old Laurentians forced several penalties, exploiting some poor tackling from Lions to get over for the try near the posts.