RUGBY: Last game of wonderful season for Lions

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Defeat at Earlsdon for league champions

PICTURES BY RAY ANDREWS

Midlands 2 West (South)

Earlsdon 31

Rugby Lions 26

Having been crowned league champions prior to Easter, one more league fixture, a dead rubber in effect was a difficult one to get up for, both mentally and physically if honest, writes Player Coach Rob Dignum.

Add to this, we were facing fired-up local rivals Earlsdon; a good side who are not overly fond of us, yet another Coventry side not short on incentive to take a scalp.

To make matters worse, we were only just able to field a side with a whole array of excuses offered.

Among the better ones, huge congratulations from all at Lions to Alex and Nikki Tansley as well as Aiden and Sophie Parkinson on the safe arrival of their two respective new born, welcome to the world Isla Tansley and Kaiden Parkinson!

Earlsdon, at their gaff was always going to be a toughie, fielding a side barely recognisable from our last outing was likely going to be a factor also.

Many thanks and congratulations to Jay Roberts, Danny large, Zak Wright and Tom Kimberley for stepping in eleventh hour and for commanding performances well above anything hoped.

As feared, a lackadaisical approach by Lions ensued with an inability to tackle the stand out factor of the opening forty. Earlsdon were without regular personnel also, but the old psychology of them wanting it more was definitely the overriding influence of the day.

The game took the form of a friendly, without the friendliness, both sides taking it in turn to score. Despite a relatively bright start with scores from Sam James, Stuart Lee and John Hemsley; Earlsdon went in at the break ahead 24-19. Cue the inevitable Aggy rollicking surrounding tackling technique!

The second forty was a far tighter affair with tackles being made and the game played out in the centre of the field.

With so little to play for and with so many new faces, Lions usual precision and areas of strength were replaced with a faltering line out and a scrum retreating at an alarming rate.

Despite this, Lance Brooks crossed to give Lions a 24-26 lead, before Earlsdon’s pack again pierced through tight channels to take the lead 31-26. Despite keeping the ball for the remaining three minutes Earlsdon deservedly held on, to cue wild home celebrations.

In truth, the result was probably always on the cards, but who cares?! We have had a wonderful season, correction, four wonderful seasons each ending with us promoted.

Midlands One will definitely be a different kettle of fish and we will have to consolidate.

In the meantime, time for a welcome break… thank you to everyone involved at Webb Ellis Road for all of your efforts, it has been yet another delightful chapter.

Lance Brooks in Lions final game of the season at Earlsdon

Lance Brooks in Lions final game of the season at Earlsdon

Stuart Lee in Rugby Lions' defeat by Earlsdon (Pictures by Ray Andrews)

Stuart Lee in Rugby Lions' defeat by Earlsdon (Pictures by Ray Andrews)