RUGBY: Big cup day for Lions and Newbold

Daz Dean and KJ Henry in action for Newbold 1st team v Dunstablians
Daz Dean and KJ Henry in action for Newbold 1st team v Dunstablians

Semi-finals of Midlands competitions

Weather permitting, this should be the biggest weekend of the season so far for Rugby Lions and Newbold, both seeking Midlands cup final places on the road to Twickenham.

In these games postponed from three weeks ago, Lions host Cleethorpes at Webb Ellis Road in a Midlands semi-final of the RFU Junior Vase, kicking off at 2pm.

And at Parkfield Road, Newbold will welcome Leek for their Intermediate Cup semi-final, kick-off 2.15pm.

The victors on Saturday will secure a coveted place in their respective Midlands finals - just two wins away from the national finals at Twickenham.

Long Buckby await Saturday’s winners in the Vase, having beaten Cannock in their semi-final on February 1.

And Bridgnorth, who beat Leighton Buzzard in their semi, are the other Intermediate Cup finalists.

Like all Lions’ previous Vase opponents, Cleethorpes play their league rugby one level above them and are currently mid-table in Midlands 4 East (North) with six wins from 16 games.

But Midlands 5 West (South) leaders Lions are currently unbeaten after 12 games on maximum points.

Although they have not played as much as they would have liked in recent weeks, Lions are still in great form, demonstrated by their 67-0 win over second placed Birmingham Exiles last week.

Newbold’s visitors Leek currently sit top of Midlands 2 West (North), having only lost one of their 16 games, with Newbold second in Midlands 2 East (South) behind Leighton Buzzard.

But Newbold come into the game on the back of a strong 53-3 win away at Leicester Forest.

Newbold know it will be a tough game, but the way they have been playing over the last few weeks suggests they are more than capable of securing their place in the Midlands final. Both teams would welcome plenty of extra support from rugby fans in the town with two exciting games in prospect.