RUGBY LIONS: Warwickshire Shield win

Lions in action against Harbury on Sunday   (Picture by Eric Wright)
Lions in action against Harbury on Sunday (Picture by Eric Wright)
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Lions beat Harbury 66-0 in semi-final

Rugby Lions

County Shield

Warwickshire Shield

Semi-final

Harbury 0

Rugby Lions 66

Lions travelled to Leamington RFC on Sunday, a neutral ground for the much awaited semi-final of the Warwickshire Shield, writes Player Coach Rob Dignum.

The opposition Harbury RFC, who ply their trade a league higher than Lions at present.

Harbury romped our current league at the end of last season only to stumble upon tough times, currently ninth in the table this time around.

December 28 is not the greatest date to play sport after all the eating and drinking. And Lions were forced into three changes during the warm up, festive malady beating some in the ranks.

As the underdogs, a big start would be required to take the sting from Harbury’s tail and Lions raced into a 12-0 lead courtesy of some direct running and offloading. Harbury, clearly rocked by Lions’ enthusiasm, then came back into the game and threatened at regular intervals also.

Two more scores followed for Lions when, with a minute before the break, Harbury were camped deep in Lions’ 22 and looking menacing.

The hammer blow came when, with heroic defence and repeated crunching tackles, Lions forced Harbury to spill the ball, which was skilfully scooped up by full back Jamie Mapletoft who raced 90m to end the game as a contest, half time: Lions 33-0 Harbury.

The good work, collectiveness and endeavour was carried into the second half with Lions mirroring the effort in the first forty to score another 33 unanswered points to run out emphatic 66-0 winners.

All on the bench were given plenty of deserved game time, as last week, to a man everyone giving their all and contributing positively to a fine Lions performance.

Other pluses, debutant winger Dave Bunting, another fine Avon Valley School old boy who has been a prolific scorer for the Development side, got his well earned chance and crossed for a wonderful try.

It would be remiss to single out individuals for praise in such a united effort, but I will; well done also to Sunny Dhindsa who had yet another belter, similarly to other debutants Aiden Parkinson and Karl Izzard who had industrious afternoons, Karl on the field at the same time as son Ash Williams, well done both, a proud family moment I am sure.

Jack Brenchley, Ash Williams, Dave Miles and Tom Fuller who all had strong showings also; lastly Jamie Mapletoft who crossed for three spectacular tries.

l The ‘T’-word is banned in camp, for fear of wrongly getting too far in front of ourselves, instead we are very keen to concentrate our efforts one game at a time, as our attentions turn to the RFU Junior Vase competition again this weekend.

We will be taking nothing for granted and will under no circumstance be treating our next opposition lightly; Buxton in the quarter-final.

A tough trip indeed, we are very keen to continue with present aggression, accuracy and organisation, taking this on the road and into a tough fixture at their tricky ‘Sunnyfields’ home, where few go and get a result.

There is a bus departing for Buxton on Saturday, all support happily received as ever. Talk on the touchline is that all things are rosy and developing nicely at Webb Ellis Road, the current crop of players, in all senior teams, male and female playing with pride and determination each week, the non-playing side similarly working tirelessly to rebuild our great club… long may it continue.

Happy New Year one and all; my New Year’s resolution, not to lose anytime soon!