O’Grady bags a treble as Luton thump Pinley

Luton's Martin O'Grady in action - pic: Ian Nancollas
Luton's Martin O'Grady in action - pic: Ian Nancollas

Luton rounded off the regular Midlands Two East South season with their ninth victory on the trot, as they beat relegated Pinley 76-0 away from home on Saturday.

The Newlands Road side ensured they finished second in the table behind Oadby Wyggestonians and will now face the runner up of the Midlands Two East North in a play-off for promotion on May 5.

That is likely to be Matlock, as they lead Coalville by nine points with two games to go.

At the weekend, it was Pinley who could have opened the scoring as they were awarded a penalty 10 metres into the visitors half, but missed their opportunity.

Rik Hobbs then kicked a penalty into touch five metres from the line, the throw-in resulted in a maul and hooker Tom Garner broke away from the back to fall over the whitewash and score.

Hobbs couldn’t add the extras from the conversion.

Luton capitalised on a Pinley error to score their second try of the match.

Tom Mahendren gathered the ball from a loose line out from the home side before going on a great run and offloading the ball to Matt Yang metres from the line, the latter crashed over next to the posts.

Hobbs converted the simple kick to make it 12-0.

The visitors third try came right at the very end of the first half, centre Jake Hobbs broke through the Pinley line just inside his own half.

He gained a lot of ground before opting for a pass outside to Martin O’Grady, as a tackler was oncoming, and the winger went on to put the ball down in the corner.

Fly half Hobbs’ kick sailed brilliantly between the posts from distance to make it 19-0 at the break.

It took Luton a while to get going in the second half but once they got started Pinley couldn’t stop them.

The first try came as Luton played good, quick passes along the back row and full back Chris Davies found O’Grady free on the wing, 22 metres out, and he used his pace to touch down for the second time.

This time it was David Hamm who converted well.

Pinley’s restart failed to make it 10 metres and Oti Pifeleti passed it out to Mahendren from the scrum.

He picked out Davies as the full back broke through the home side’s line on half way to leave himself a free run to the try area and put the ball down under posts.

Hamm added a simple drop goal.

Luton scored again within a minute as Don Govere received the ball deep inside his own half before going on a fantastic 80 metre run, holding off five tackles to score one of the tries of the season.

Hamm made it 40-0 with another drop kick.

The visitors next try came again within 60 seconds of the restart.

Hamm went on a brilliant run from inside his own 22, but he was brought down by a last ditch tap tackle from the full back. However the fly half was able to offload to Luke Spellen and he went on to score, Hamm’s drop kick making it 47-0.

Pinley tried to get a try of their own as they attacked but nothing the home side tried could break down Luton’s fantastic defensive wall, the visitors turning the ball over and Mahendren clearing.

As the match came to end Luton went on another scoring spree, Mahendren starting it off, as Pifeleti broke away from the back of a scrum five metres out and played a nice backhanded offload to the scrum half who finished easily.

This time Hamm had to use a tee, but he failed to convert.

Full back Davies increased the margin less than a minute later, as he received the ball inside his own 22 and sidestepped a couple of players to find himself in space, as he couldn’t be caught, Hamm missing the extras.

O’Grady then rounded off his hat-trick a couple of minutes later as centre Hobbs passed it inside on the 22 and nobody could stop him touching down.

Forward Pifeleti screwed his drop kick wide.

Pinley’s restart failed to make it the required 10 metres for the second time and again they were punished.

Pifeleti broke away from the back of the scrum and passed the ball made its way to Davies on the flank, the winger going inside the last man and putting the ball down over the line.

Hamm, back in kicking duty, after Pifeleti fancied himself as fly-half last time, duly delivered with a drop kick to make it 69-0.

In the closing seconds, centre Hobbs somehow found it in him to sprint from his own 22 to the try line, beating the covering full back for pace, and scoring the 12th try, Hamm doing the rest.