MATCH REPORT: Oundle are on the up once again

Callum Gardner scores the first Oundle try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Callum Gardner scores the first Oundle try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

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Oundle comfortably won their English Clubs Championship promotion play-off today (April 29) and will be joining Borough in Midlands Division One next season.

The Midlands East Division Two (South) runners-up beat Midlands Division Two East (North) runners-up Coalville 30-12 at Occupation Road to make it two promotions in two seasons.

Oundle prop Richard Jones races in for a try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Oundle prop Richard Jones races in for a try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

The team heavily loaded with former Peterborough Lions stars had too much power and know-how for their Leicestershire opponents and never looked like losing the biggest game in their 40-year history.

They scored all their points in a one-sided first half and then defended heroically after the break as Coalville fought back strongly.

It was 30-5 at the interval and could well have been double that, such was Oundle’s supremacy.

The forwards were in awesome form - man-of-the-match Simon New, Saad Sait, Dan Page, Robb Shingles and Joe Roberts especially proved difficult to stop, constantly carving big inroads into the Coalville defence.

Vernon Horne scores a try for Oundle against Coalville. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Vernon Horne scores a try for Oundle against Coalville. Picture: Mick Sutterby

The game was 13 mintes old when Oundle bagged their first try. Fly-half Craig Tandy made a 40-yard break from deep, New was in support and he sent super-quick winger Callum Gardner scurrying in at the corner for the first try.

Jaco Steenberg missed the conversion but was on target with two penalties a few minutes later to make it 11-0 with 18 minutes on the clock.

Steenberg then grabbed a try, this time after a lovely break by centre Toby Snelling and some slick handling by centre Vernon Horne.

Steenberg converted the touchdown and it was 18-0.

Scrum-half Jaco Steenberg nips in for an Oundle try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Scrum-half Jaco Steenberg nips in for an Oundle try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Prop Richard Jones was next on the scorsheet after 29 minutes, pinching possession near the touchline before storming in from 20 yards out.

The fourth and final Oundle try came from Horne after some good ball carrying by Sait, Shingles and Roberts. Steenberg again added the extras.

Coalville snatched a try on the half-time whistle after a rare excursion into Oundle territory.

The visitors saw much more of the ball in the second half but Oundle were just as impressive in defence as they had been in attack in the first half and restricted Coalville to one consolation try - and that wasn’t until the final minute.

Oundle players celebrate their promotion. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Oundle players celebrate their promotion. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Oundle head coach Peter Croot revealed after the game that former Northampton Saints star Jon Phillips would be taking over the reins next season.

Oundle: Saad Sait, Joe Roberts, Richard Jones, Dan Page, Simon Andrews, Simon New, Ali Kachra, Robb Shingles, Jaco Steenberg, Craig Tandy, Toby Snelling, Vernon Horne, Callum Gardner, Gareth Jacob, Tom Oliver. Subs: Mark Carter, Adam Peel, Evan Griffiths, Joe Rice.

Jubilant Oundle skipper Craig Tandy after the win against Coalville. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Jubilant Oundle skipper Craig Tandy after the win against Coalville. Picture: Mick Sutterby