OLD LEAMINGTONIANS 2/3's 10 Kenilworth 2/3's 64
Despite the Arctic conditions the Cavaliers managed to produce a display that ultimately overpowered and outpaced a game but understrength Old Leams side.
Cavaliers Manager Elmer Fudd Turner had assembled a fair squad with a mix of grizzly experience and fearless youth, ably led by new skipper Dan T-Rex Roberts
The tone was set from the kick off, which was spilled by OLs, hacked on by Cedric "NTamack" Bonnet and finished with Gallic aplomb. Lewis Phillips failed to talk the kick over but was relatively successful with his place kicking for the rest of the day - his kicking from hand had more slices than Hovis however.
With the impressive Arthur Haynes providing sound service from scrum half, Lewis Phillips was able to utilise the pace and power outside him , avoiding contact with his rather stout opposite number. The mercurial Jimmy Middleton, on day release from family duties, terrorised the OLs defence and helped himself to a hat trick - celebrated by a display of Nausea on the half way line, much to the shock of his young, impressionable team mates.
It was clear that if the Cavaliers stuck to the basics and used their big ball carriers to commit the home defence, then the space would open up pretty quickly. Step forward the youthful triumvirate of Paul Fountaine, Ian Phillips and Dom Carrick (combined age of about 122 years!) who repeatedly punched wholes into committed but overpowered OLs defence.
A textbook catch and drive, with Fountaine leaping like an aged tinned salmon to take young hooker Will (tie and chino) Blakeman's excellent throw, was well driven by Matt Jenkins and the rest of the pack. The veteran poacher Dom Carrick unashamedly stole the ball at the back of the maul and drove over for the try.
Some scrappy play was not assisted by both sides inability to adapt to the referee's particularly strict enforcement of the contact laws - Captain Roberts imploring his side to take a grip and step up the work rate and concentration levels.
The quiet, reserved Carrick ignored this and subsequently dropped a sitter of a kick off, much to the amusement of the OLs home supporters - his claim that he wished it had been a trickier catch as he's good at those fell on deaf and indifferent ears. However this useless piece of inadequate play was soon to be atoned for.
From a penalty in centre field it was decided that unleashing Frisky Fountaine was a better option that Hovis Phillips slicing another kick to the corner - like an angry ageing Giraffe, Fountaine tore into the heart of the OLs defence, quick ruck ball was produced and good hands from Hovis and Andy Logan (who seems to have had a very good Christmas) released a galloping Dom Carrick hitting the line at some sort of pace - with the line in his sights the flailing attempts of the covering OLs full back were always going to be in vain as Carrick nonchalantly skipped round the posts, much to the delight of his team mates and intense disappointment of Manager Fudd.
Hooker Blakeman and props Andrew and Jack Hurst did well to steady an unsettled scrummage and worked well in the loose and replacements Wylie and Ronan also got around the park well in the 2nd half.
Josh O Brien at centre provided the gas and guile outside the brawn and bullish belligerence of Logan - his broken play running was impressive and led many onlookers to question his parentage with his so called Dad - Mad Mick O Brien watching proudly, happy that his propping genes had not been passed on to his pacy son. Josh scooted over for a couple of tries with some impressive broken play running - Hovis Phillips also dotting down.
Ian Phillips was enjoying time and space from Number 8 and went on a number of gallops from the base - nearly linking up with his partner in grime, the returning Drew "snuffmaster" Dingley - unfortunately the combination of Phillips' offloading skills and Dingley's distinct lack of suppleness caused the ball to predictably go the ground.
As the ref blew early for time the players gathered to reflect on a job well done and a relatively good start to 2015 - certainly better than the first half of the season. With Manager Fudd's ability to put together a competitive squad and the return of a few old timers, combined with the undeniable skill and pace of the young'uns the rest of the season is certainly looking more promising.
O Brien 2
Roberts (although it may have been someone else!) 1
L Phillips 1
L Phillips 7