Mighty Oaks grab third place

Ben Harries in action for Oakham
Ben Harries in action for Oakham
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OAKHAM cruised to victory at the Showground on Saturday, beating Bakewell Mannerians 81-19 to secure third place in the Midlands East 2 (North) division.

The Oaks have just one more league game, a trip to Belgrave on Saturday, followed by the final of the County Plate competition after Easter to cap one of the club’s most successful seasons ever.

But never one to accept anything less than 100 percent, Oakham coach Mark Powell said: “The 81 we scored were fine but the 19 we gave away bothered me.

“They were three soft tries to give away. They walked right though us.

“But if someone had said at the beginning of the season that we’d be third at the end I would have laughed. This has exceeded all my expectations.”

Powell has announced he will be stepping down at the end of the season to spend more time with his family and said: “It was not an easy decision to step down but I think I leave the club in a healthy state.

“We don’t just have a team of 15, our 2nds are competitive and we can call on 30 players who can play in a position for the first team.”

Powell, who took charge three seasons ago, added: “There was a good-sized crowd on Saturday and it was a great send-off for the final home game of the season. Our supporters and sponsors have been superb throughout the season. Without them the club would not survive.”

James Padley and Tom Burton both crossed over for three tries on Saturday, with Ben Harries and Mark Matthews adding another two each and Toby Daw, Angus Boyle and Rob Bryant also on the scoresheet. Matthews added eight conversions.

And despite the wide winning margin Powell suggested: “It was not the best game we have played this season. There was too much individualistic play, but we scored 13 tries and won a bonus point to secure third place.”

Oaks: J Padley, A Stimson, B Harries, T Armstrong, T Burton, M Matthews, O Baines, R Corner (K Oliver), R Grieve, A Price, R Bryant, P Gant (D Corner), T Daw, M Stimson (C Fourrie), A Boyle.