Oaks face tough battle for third

Try scorer Will Armstrong
Try scorer Will Armstrong
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Market Bosworth 8 Oakham 11

OAKHAM have tightened their grip on third place with victory at Market Bosworth on Saturday.

Market Rasen and Loughborough look unassailable in the top two spots in the Midlands 2 East (North) division but with results elsewhere going in Oakham’s favour, the Oaks head a quartet of sides battling for third position.

Oakham beat Market Bosworth 11-8 with a try from Will Armstrong and two penalties from Mark Matthews, and with rivals Belgrave and Aylestone slipping up, the Oaks opened up the gap between themselves and the chasing pack to five points.

Aylestone have games in hand but, crucially for Oakham, face a tough run of games as the season nears its conclusion and Oaks coach Mark Powell is urging his side to maintain their momentum and hold onto third place.

“It’s a superb position to be in, way ahead of expectations for this season and results elsewhere have helped us out,” said Powell, who was delighted by the win at Bosworth.

“Market Bosworth are always a hard team to go to and win.

“It means we’ve done the double over a side that came down from the league above last season.”

There were three yellow cards, including one to Oakham’s Angus Boyle, during a scrappy game in which Oakham missed five penalties and a conversion.

Armstrong’s try came when Oakham managed to open up the centre of Bosworth’s defence. A missed tackle in the second half gave the home side the opportunity to cross over for their try.

Oakham have no fixture this week and Powell planned to give his players a well-earned rest.

“We’ll have very gentle training this week and let bodies recover. The lads deserve a rest.”

Oakham’s next game is at West Bridgford on March 26. Oakham 2nds, currently top of the Leicestershire League’s second tier, play Aylestonians on the same day.

Oakham: Will Armstrong, Pete Watt, Tom Burton, Tom Armstrong, James Padley, Mark Matthews, Tom Harries, Kevin Oliver (Rhys Corner), Adam Price, Richard Pocock, Rob Bryant, Phil Gant (Dale Corner), Martyn Stimson (Toby Daw), Angus Boyle, Carel Fourie.