Oaks battle back from terrible start to win

James Bealand scores for Oakham RFC. Photo: Andy Balmford EMN-151003-104359001

James Bealand scores for Oakham RFC. Photo: Andy Balmford EMN-151003-104359001

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Any thoughts of Oakham RFC having an easy time of it against bottom of Midlands Two East North Dunstablians was put to bed when their opposition scored in the first minute of the match.

But Oakham rallied in the second half and scored two tries to claim a 18-14 victory.

Oaks player manager Tom Armstrong said: “Before the game there was a bit of chat about it being an easy game and that we should get the bonus point. But it turned out to be a potential banana skin so I am pretty pleased with the result.”

It was the worst possible start for Oakham, they knocked on the kick-off playing into the strong wind at the Showground and from the resulting scrum Dunstablians moved the ball wide. A tackle was missed on the winger and he scooted in to score in the corner. Despite the wind and distance the excellent visiting fly-half converted the score from the touchline.

Mark Matthews pulled Oaks back into the game with a pair of penalties before the break to make it 7-6 to the visitors.

With the wind at their backs Oakham began to impose themselves on the game. Number eight James Beanland made a good break down the wing but mishandling saw the ball spilt before scoring.

However Beanland was not to be denied moments later when he picked the ball up from five metres out and drove over the line to score.

Armstrong said: “I said at halftime we have to get some phases together because their defence was pretty good.

“When we put four or five phases together they had no defenders left out wide and that is how Tom Burton scored.”

Centre Burton was award the man of the match honours after the game for his strong try scoring display.

Matthews converted the effort to make it 18-7 before the visitors powered over behind a driving maul.

In the closing stages of the match Oakham were made to work hard in defence as Dunstablians pushed for a game winning score but the hosts responded with big hits to keep them at bay and secure the victory.