In 2018 the OBs were Division One champions, boasting a 100% record, and finished twelve points clear of runners-up Brentwood. In their first season back in the top division they finished eighth of ten; and were 1st Round casualties in the Dunn, losing at Foresters in a tough draw.
This season they are faring much better and are currently third, with eight wins from fifteen so far. Following easy wins over Shirburnians [Sherborne] and Foresters in the previous rounds, they will certainly fancy their chances against Old Rugbeians, a mid-table Division Two side, albeit with several games in hand.
Thankfully there are no such problems this afternoon, although the wind makes flowing football very difficult. With the gale at their backs in the first half, the OBs dominate the opening forty-five minutes as Rugbeians struggle to keep the ball down and fail to seriously trouble the home defence.
They are a goal down within two minutes, when Justin Foord breaks into the penalty area and beats Tom Murphy inside his far post. As the OBs continue to press, Tom Martin has an effort cleared off the line, before Foord adds a second with a cheeky back heel from the edge of the six-yard box.
Rugbeians have done well to keep the scoreline down as the half-time whistle blows but have Murphy to thank for fine saves from Rory Knibbs and Piers Oldland.
With the wind now in their favour as the second half gets underway, Rugbeians really need a quick goal to get themselves back into the tie. It’s not forthcoming however, despite their best endeavours, and on 68 minutes Oldland increases the OBs’ advantage from just inside the eighteen-yard box.
Ten minutes later Tom Joslin adds a fourth from an acute angle. With five minutes remaining Sam Carver pulls one back for Rugbeians, but there is still time for Foord to complete his hat-trick, slotting between Murphy’s legs to complete a comfortable 5-1 win and earn the OBs a home semi-final tie against fellow Premier Division side Tonbridgians, themselves twice winners of the Dunn, and runners-up in 2018.