Interception try scuppers Oakham comeback

Oakham RFC v Kesteven RFC. Match action.'Photo: MSMP110114-003je ENGEMN00120140113110401
Oakham RFC v Kesteven RFC. Match action.'Photo: MSMP110114-003je ENGEMN00120140113110401

A late interception try stole victory from Oakham RFC on Saturday after the travelling Rutland side had clawed their way back into the tie.

The Oaks lost 22-20 to Bakewell Mannerians in their Midlands Two East (North) encounter, after getting caught trying to play the ball out of their own 22 late in the game.

Mannerians were first to score, stealing the ball before feeding it wide to touch down in the corner and the home side quickly added a second - catching the travelling Rutlanders cold.

But Oakham struck back with a try against the run of play for forward Andrew Wallace, but the tempo of the match was still being set by Bakewell.

Mannerian’s fly half Dann nudged his team further ahead with a penalty, but Oakham were starting to look the more urgent team and took the match by the scruff of the neck.

Their increased work rate caused the home side to play a game of containment but the Oaks were stretching them to breaking point and soon added another try through winger Will Burrows and a penalty from Mark Matthews made it 15-13 to Mannerians at half time.

After the break Oakham were still playing the better and it took two try-saving tackles from Mannerian’s Dann to keep his side in the match.

But Oakham took the lead when they capitalised on a Mannerians mix up.

Oakham hoisted a speculative kick which landed on the muddy pitched between two Bakewell players however neither dealt with the ball thinking the other was going to react first.

In fact it was Oakam’s James Beanland who was first to the ball and he gathered the pill to touch down. Matthews’ conversion made it 20-15 with 10 minutes remaining.

But the home side were not done and began to pile pressure on the visitors line with powerful runs. The Oaks’ defence stood firm and turned the ball over but then it all went wrong for the visitors.

They were caught trying to play their way out of defence and Bakewell intercepted and broke for the line.

A scramble defence just felled the Mannerians’ runner but he was able to offload the ball for the supporting runner to just gather it and dive over to send the home crowd into raptures.

With the scores all even the game hinged on the conversion and sadly for Oakham the Mannerian kicker nailed his effort straight in front of the posts to secure a first league double over the Oaks.

Oakham player manager Tom Armstrong said: “If we had woke up a bit earlier we would have won.

“We were the better team on the day but we did not get out of the blocks quick enough.

“We played some really good rugby at times, especially 20 minutes either side of the break.”

Oakham’s final league game of the campaign is at home to league champions Belgrave on Saturday.

Kick-off 3pm