RUGBY LIONS: RFU Midlands Junior Vase champions again

Lions celebrate their second RFU Midlands Junior Vase title   PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Lions celebrate their second RFU Midlands Junior Vase title PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
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Rugby Lions beat Cleobury Mortimer 23-15 at Webb Ellis Road on Saturday

There were great celebrations at Webb Ellis Road on Saturday when Rugby Lions retained the RFU Midlands Junior Vase in a close, tense finish, cheered on by hundreds of supporters.

Without a score for either side in the first half an hour, Lions set up 17-0 half-time lead, thanks to a penalty try, converted by Gareth Bott and tries by Danny Campbell and Adam Attenborough.

Bott made it 20-0 with another penalty just after the break and Lions seemed well in control. But the Kidderminster visitors came back with a converted try for 20-7 in the 13th minute of the second half and when Sunny Dhindsa was yellow carded a minute later, Lions needed to dig in. A Cleobury Mortimer penalty and try brought the score to 20-15 but a final Bott penalty with ten minutes to go kept Lions’ noses in front and they deservedly lifted the RFU Midlands Junior Vase for the second year.

Lions now go into the national semi-finals of the RFU Junior Vase, where they have another home draw, with Yorkshire side Northallerton RFC the visitors to Webb Ellis Road on Easter Saturday, April 4.

The winners of that game will play in the national final at Twickenham, where Lions were runners-up last year.

Jamie Mapletoft and Robert Walton in Saturday's final

Jamie Mapletoft and Robert Walton in Saturday's final

See Thursday’s Advertiser for full coverage with player coach Rob Dignum’s report of the game and more of Mike Baker’s pictures

Try scorer Adam Attenborough

Try scorer Adam Attenborough

Lions supporters cheering their team to victory at Webb Ellis Road

Lions supporters cheering their team to victory at Webb Ellis Road