Vagabonds 20

Oswestry 14

Oswestry suffered their first defeat of the season on the weekend as they travelled to face Isle of Man side Vagabonds.

The narrow defeat saw Oswestry drop to third in the table.

As with previous fixtures this season, Oswestry started strongly, despite falling behind on the scoreline after conceding a penalty.

Trailing 3-0, the Eagles started to push forward well as they looked to cancel out Vagabonds’ three-point lead.

Quick thinking by Nick Clay saw a switch in the tempo for Oswestry, who charged forward with pace, playing fast passes to gain ground and eventually get over the line.

Andy Smith drove over the try-line and gave the side a 5-3 advantage. Debutant Brad Hughes, playing at number 10, extended the lead with the conversion.

What was turning out to be a really back and forth game saw Vagabonds come back at Oswestry after the opening Eagles’ try.

Another two penalties for the hosts, which were kicked well, restore the lead as they went 9-7 up.

Things were made more difficult for Oswestry when the experienced James Roberts had to be taken to hospital with a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle.

Oswestry continued to give away penalties and soon found themselves trailing 15-7.

The hosts looked confident and made the most of their time in the driver’s seat to grab a try and extend their lead further.

The Vagabonds try was a wake-up call for Oswestry, who looked for a way back into the match.

And with 10 minutes to go, their efforts were rewarded, with Smith grabbing his second try of the afternoon.

Hughes made it two conversions from two on his debut to make it 20-14.

Oswestry were then camped in the Vagabonds 22, but Vagabonds just managed to stop the Eagles from scoring.

It finished 20-14 to the hosts, leaving Oswestry third in the table.

Oswestry’s first XV are at home on Saturday against Oxton Parkonians, while the second XV host Christleton.