SILHILLIANS’ early season form took an upward turn following five straight defeats in a row when Leamington travelled to Copt Heath.
A battling Sils side benefited from some fresh faces for the first home and league win of the Midlands Two West (South) season.
The game commenced in glorious autumn sunshine with Sils opting for the kick off on the downward slope.
Opening exchanges were intense, with Leamington keeping the ball well, working up multiple phases and forcing some penalty errors from the Sils.
The Sils defence stood strong to keep a clean sheet in the first quarter.
In a backline, comprising of two new faces of Nick Finnegan and Brian Miller on each wing, the Sils backs was dealt a blow when James Arney had to be replaced with a knee injury for Jon Davies.
This loss meant for a re-shuffle in the backline with third debutant of the day Conor Grogan shifting from open side to centre, a daunting task on debut which he stood up to and impressed with strong carrying and composed play throughout the game.
Despite the unplanned changes, Sils settled and got into their rhythm and even had the first opportunity to go ahead when Tom Lee struck the post from a penalty kick after the 20 minute mark.
The Sils skipper made amends ten minutes later to open the scoring to make it 3-0.
The rhythm was starting to come together for the Sils who impressed with ball in hand and left a few chances go begging.
Some nice forward interplay saw Fred Howard unusually positioned at stand off to feed Nick Elliot for the inside ball for the big man to waddle in from 20 metres under the posts.
Tom Lee converted to extend the lead to 10-0.
With five minutes to go of the half, Sils showed some good game management to force Leamington back into their own 22 only for this to unravel when missed tackles led to a Leamington break and for their inside centre to end up under the posts on the stroke of half time, cutting the Sils advantage back to 10-7.
Sils opened the second half with another impressive Tom Lee penalty for 13-7.
This was nullified with the Leams getting their second try of the game to take a 14-13 lead with a gift of an interception try.
Mark Parry was given a rest with the new mobile prop Dan Truepenny replacing him.
The following exchanges were as agonising and frustrating as they come.
Both Sils and Leams traded the lead twice each with penalties from the home side and a well worked Leamington try.
In an attempt to steady the ship, player coach Mark Evans entered the fray for his customary ten-minute cameo.
With five minutes to play Leams led by three points but with Sils pressing with some pulsating final exchanges, it had to be only a matter of time before the home crowd cried with cheers of delight.
The pressure was telling on Leams as both centres were sin binned for catastrophic deliberate knock-ons.
With no choice but to go for the scrum for the last play, Sils pack set the platform.
The backs, loading the blindside with a two man advantage, shone through as Conor Grogan fed Brian Miller to squeeze into the corner to snatch the win in the dying moments.