Evesham 29pts, Old Leamingtonians 21

EVESHAM returned to winning ways on Saturday in Midlands West 3 (South) after an emphatic first half performance.

Their open running style was soon to pay dividends as first full back Doug Payne and centre Ian Hurley made impressive counter attacking breaks in the midfield and it was from one of these that Evesham scored their first try after ten minutes.

The pace of winger Chris Oreschnick was causing OLs problems and the fantastic support play of flankers Lloyd Jiles and Jim Moulton meant that the recycled possession Evesham could maintain was creating gaps in the defence.

Following a succession of rucks in the opposition half it was Moulton who was the recipient of a pass from scrum- half Gary Diston and smashed his way over the line. Centre Rick Taylor was unlucky to see his conversion attempt slip by.

Almost immediately Evesham were on the attack again. This time it was the loose forwards making the ground with their driving plays and then fly-half Chris Evis released his backs to score a superb try in the corner.

Veteran winger Paul Turpitt showed his worth once again evading three would-be tacklers before touching down. Taylor was again unlucky with his conversion attempt.

The third try of the half came from Evesham's man of the match Jiles, who covered an amazing amount of ground during the game tackling everything in his path.

Jiles was on hand after another succession of rucks in the OLs 22 area to crash over from close range after getting a neat inside pass from Payne. Taylor slotted the conversion to give Evesham a 17-point lead.

At this point OLs were falling apart and Evesham took full advantage by scoring a fourth try. A length of the field effort involving backs and forwards was finished in some style by Turpitt.

Taylor slipped his conversion just past the left upright leaving Evesham 22 points up.

Against the run of play, OLs stole an interception type try under the posts, which momentarily stunned Evesham. But with just a few minutes of the half remaining they replied with their fifth and final try.

This time prop Chris Maritza was at the forefront of the attack and he almost smashed his through the whole visiting defence before going to ground and the recipient this time was Hugh Davey, who picked up and drove his way over the line. Taylor converted.

Turning round 29-5 to the good, Evesham never seemed to pick up where they left off in the first half and OLs scored a good try.

It was increasingly evident that unless Evesham could get another try it would be a case of hanging on. They did almost snatch a try but Mike Barnes who was adjudged to have knocked the ball on before touching down.

With the final play of the game OLs scored a third converted try to narrow the difference to just eight points which flattered them slightly.

Evesham will take great heart from an excellent first half performance and also from the set- pieces where they performed well.