Oaks topple league leaders

Rugby action - Oakham v Coalville'Photo: MSMP201012-073js
Rugby action - Oakham v Coalville'Photo: MSMP201012-073js

Oakham laid down a marker for the rest of the division by toppling leaders Coalville with a gutsy display at the Showground on Saturday.

The Oaks pulled off their best result of the season to beat Coalville 24-18 and knock them off top spot.

Joe Lunn and James Beanland both scored tries while Mark Matthews kicked three penalties, a conversion and a drop goal.

Coach Tom Armstrong said: “It was a great game - the most intelligent performance we have put in yet. We played in the right areas and pushed them back into their own 22.

“It’s a mark to move forward from.”

Lunn’s try gave Oakham an early lead but the scoreline ebbed and flowed as the leaders pulled back to 10-10 before half-time.

Beanland’s try was the result of a clever piece of play by Matthews, who collected a kick between Oakham’s posts and raced upfield to restart the game quickly with a low, direct kick to the wing. Beanland was quick to take advantage.

Matthews’ drop goal opened the lead to six points in the second half but Oakham knew a converted try would wreck their hard work, and they were forced to withstand intense pressure in the final 10 minutes.

Armstrong added: “I don’t think we played as well as we could have; but we did enough.”

Next is a trip to Nottingham Casuals, followed by one of the most eagerly awaited ties of the season - Melton at home on November 3.

The Oaks’ early season injury crisis appears to be coming to an end with several players returning in recent weeks. Although player-coach Tom Armstrong and Rhys Grieve remain sidelined.

Oaks: A Price, A Meadows, R Corner, P Gant, A Wallace, A Varley, C Fourie, A Boyle, J Lunn, M Matthews, C Archard, S Tipper, A Stimson, JBeanland, W Armstrong.