How times change for Oundle who won't just drive past Luton

It would not take the largest step back in time to be in a period when the idea of Oundle playing Luton would have been risible.

In-form Oundle take on Luton in Midlands Two East (South) tomorrow
In-form Oundle take on Luton in Midlands Two East (South) tomorrow

In fact just a couple of years ago, Luton finished their season fourth in London One North while the Eagles were at last climbing clear of Midlands Four East (South).

Not long before that and it was National League rugby for Luton. Yet this weekend the sides do meet – and Oundle are probably favourites.

Unbeaten in Midlands Two since game two, they are currently the proud owners of second place in the table.

In contrast, Luton are now sixth having lost their last three matches.

They are interesting times for the men from Occupation Road.

“I remember having to travel past Luton’s ground to go and play Vauxhall Motors – and they are not even in the league system any more,” Oundle head coach Peter Croot admitted.

“A few years ago we were six or seven leagues apart.

“It shows how far we’ve come. But, like I’ve said before, the truth will be in sustaining it.”

Certainly at the moment, sustaining their progress is proving quite successful.

Having been promoted twice in three seasons, the Eagles have thrived at this level since losing their first two matches.

Not that Croot is going to let anyone rest on their laurels.

“There is a long way to go yet but we are higher than we’ve ever been and we’re their on merit.

“But having been in this situation two years ago when we were new to a league, we know the first half of a season gives you the chance to surprise everyone.

“If we’re still in this position at the end of January or February then we’ll have a look.

“We’ve still got key games, hard games, like Luton away, Oadby Wyggs away, Market Harborough away.

“Win at those places and then you deserve to be up there.

“Having said that, we’ve been doing well.

“We might have been conceding a few points (only the bottom two teams have shipped more than Oundle) but we’ve got scored more than anyone else.

“As long as we keep getting more points than the other side we’ll be alright!

“Our wins haven’t been one point, could-have-gone-either-way matches so we deserve what we’ve got so far.

“But things change – injuries and recruitment do that – so, and I hate saying it, but we’ll keep taking it one game at a time.”