Last eight place for Spring Street Rugby Lions
PICTURED: Spring Street Rugby Lions: Carl Russell, Steve Rickard, Mark Winham, Luke Low, Michael Cruickshank, Roger Hunt, Tony Illingworth, Cory Birkenhead, Martin Winham and Karl Spencer
Spring Street Rugby Lions pool team reached the quarter finals in Interleague Nationals.
Rugby Lions got off to a good start with wins against both Stowmarket 10-7 and Taunton Allstars 10-8 seeing them go through as group winners, which in turn guaranteed them a last 64 Knock-out Cup game against a group runner-up.
The last 64 saw them drawn against a battling Battersea A, which Lions won 10-8 in the final frame. The final game on Saturday evening was their Last 32 match against a noisy Harlow side. Lions breezed through to Sunday morning by winning 10-5, Michael Cruickshank potting the final black to win the match, which also gave him stats for the day of eight out of eight, which is no mean feat at this level.
Sunday morning and the last 16 gave the Lions their toughest game yet, being drawn against a very strong Leicester side, which had won this event three times. Lions got off to a good start and were narrowly leading 5-4 at the halfway point. The second half of the match saw Leicester step it up and took the next five frames to lead 9-5, needing only one more frame to go through to the quarter finals. But Rugby Lions proved that their bite was as good as their bark by taking the next four frames to draw the match at 9-9 and to take it into a three-frame play off, with Martin Winham, Roger Hunt and Karl Spencer playing for the Lions.
Roger Hunt won the first game after his opponent had earlier missed the black. Martin Winham then capitalised on a missed opportunity and showed nerves of steel to take out his last four balls and the black. The final score of Lions 11 Leicester 9, saw the Lions into the last eight.
The quarter finals saw the Lions drawn against Wolverhampton Wednesday. This game was a bridge too far for the Lions who were on the wrong end of a 10-2 scoreline.
Captain Roger Hunt said: “I’m very proud of how the team performed at this top level and how we stuck together. This is the best a team from Rugby has done in years in this event and we can all hold our heads high. We also won £800 prize and trophy.”