Luton RFC suffer shock home defeat against Old Laurentians

Callum Strachan in action for Luton - pic: Ian Nancollas
Callum Strachan in action for Luton - pic: Ian Nancollas

Luton sank to fourth in the league table after they suffered a shock 26-21 defeat to Old Laurentians in the dying seconds of their Midlands Two East South match at the weekend.

The visitors opened the scoring after a shaky start from Luton with a try and conversion.

It looked like it was going to be an uphill struggle for the Newlands side as key player Rik Hobbs came off within nine minutes with a groin injury, although they came alive and levelled on 18 minutes, winger Martin O’Grady powering his way to the line after good work by the forwards.

Luton then took the lead when Hobbs returned to the field as it was his break that gave Callum Strachan a clear run to the line.

As time ran out in the first half the visitors rallied and pushed Luton back, with the pressure telling when Campbell McMillan saw yellow.

However to the delight of the home fans, O’Grady intercepted a loose pass and sprinted the length of the pitch to score, full back David Hamm’s conversion making it 21-7 at the break.

Although Luton now had the slope in their favour and the wind at their backs, it was Old Laurentians who came out strongest, as a try in the corner brought them back into the game.

Then came the game’s turning point, with Luton’s Matt Yang received a red card for stamping on an opponent.

Old Laurentians used their extra man to their advantage as they blew away the home side’s weakened defence to score a try and conversion, bring them back within two points at 21-19.

Luton looked to have held on for victory but with the last play of the game the away side broke down the wing to score in the corner and added the extras, leaving Luton to wonder where it all went wrong.

After suffering their second successive loss in two weeks, first team coach Paul Alston said: “We switched off as we thought we’d won the game.

“I said to the lads that we need to score first, however they scored first and the rest is history.”

Luton next visit Olney on November 19.