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Old Merchant Taylor's celebrated their third successive promotion on Saturday by beating Wasps 22-0
Old Merchant Taylors' RFC celebrated their third successive promotion on Saturday after a dominant 22-0 bonus point win against Wasps sealed their place in London North West Two.
OMTs’ went into the contest level on 74 points with second-placed Grasshoppers - who knew a bonus point victory against Finchley would be enough to secure the runners-up spot.
While Taylors’ efficiently dispatched Wasps, Grasshoppers battled their way past Finchley. But their 27-24 win wasn’t enough as they failed to claim a bonus point.
It meant OMTs’ clinched promotion by the narrowest of margins and team manager Gordon Brown praised the entire squad’s contribution.
He said: "We are very proud when it comes to what we have achieved over the past three years.
"The team have been brilliant throughout the season. We’ve had quite a few injuries as well but have managed to keep going.
"That just shows the quality and strength in depth we have at the club."
He continued: "It’s not easy when you go into a new division to gauge how you will do. We had new players who were still gelling at the start of the season and we actually lost our first two league matches.
"What we did do throughout the season though is make sure we took bonus points from every match we played.
"Whether that was a losing bonus point or a bonus point for scoring four tries, we got one in every match.
"That is what gave us a chance throughout the season and, ultimately, that’s what proved the difference."
Brown puts Taylors’ recent success down to their relocation to Merchant Taylors' School three years ago.
"During our last ten years at Durrants House in Croxley Green we were in decline. Moving back to the school has made a big difference. It has helped us attract players and the facilities are excellent."
Taylors’ led 5-0 at half-time of Saturday’s clash after Francis Tuinasakea had crossed for the visitors.
They took control in the second period and Jack Baron went over before brothers Sam and Joe Isaacs both crossed to secure the bonus point.
That meant OMTs finished on 79 points while Grasshoppers ended their campaign one point behind.
It’s the first time since 1999 that Taylors’ will play at London North West Two level.
Only three players have appeared during the three consecutive promotions; Dan Conway, Tyson De Souza and Sam Isaacs.
And Brown said: "We’ve strengthened every season and moving through the leagues means players want to join the club to test themselves at a higher level - two players at other clubs are already looking to join us.
"Our coach Francois Lombard will hold player audits to establish what areas of the squad we need to strengthen and if the players can step up.
"We know a few of the sides we will come up against next season, one of those is Hemel Hempstead who we faced during pre-season and defeated.
"So we know we can compete at that level, it’s not as if we will go up and then suddenly be struggling."
There will be no let up for the majority of the club’s players. The Second XV have a Merit Table Cup final against Harrow while a three-match tour to Devon is to come as well as a number of Sevens competitions throughout the summer.
Tabard ended their London One North season with a disappointing 22-19 away defeat against Old Haberdashers.
Shane Austin crossed for Tabs and Jack Reilly added three penalties and a conversion. However, it wasn't enough as Old Habs clinched victory.
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