RUGBY LIONS: County Cup tonight, Rob Walton’s Memorial tomorrow

Rob Walton's friends and colleagues from Lions and Hinckley will be playing in a memorial game on Saturday
Rob Walton's friends and colleagues from Lions and Hinckley will be playing in a memorial game on Saturday

Win at Pershore as climb up league continues

Midlands 3 West (South)

Pershore 10

Rugby Lions 43

Lions made yet another trip to Worcestershire, on this occasion to face Pershore.

In the build-up we were warned that they boast a big pack and have many of their agricultural players readily available for home selection; the message was loud and clear, under no circumstance were they to be treated lightly writes Rob Dignum.

Our afternoon was to prove further problematic given that nine would-be regular first team were out of action and some 19 names across the whole club currently unavailable, combine this with lashing rain and an official that loved a whistle, this indeed would prove tough.

Lions kicked off in monsoon conditions and started brightly, scoring the first of seven tries on two minutes with the conversion added.

In truth we started a little too well as Lions then endured a tough time from their opposition, the conditions and the official.

For half an hour, Lions won every scrum and line out and made regular breaks. Handling in the greasy conditions, some wayward decision making and a recurring failure to understand the official’s interpretation at each breakdown, however prevented any further progress for the away side.

On 40 minutes, Pershore crossed out wide for a half time score of Pershore 5-7 Lions.

Ordinarily this might have sparked anxiety amongst the ranks, not so, with in the main only calm reflection offered.

It was clear we were on top in many facets of the game, despite the scoreboard not showing so. Tighten up, play sensibly and reap the reward.

The second forty mirrored the beginning of the encounter, torrential rain and Lions quickly back into their stride again scoring early in the half.

This was quickly followed with Lions crossing Pershore’s line for a further four tries, before Pershore deservedly grabbed their second.

Not to be outdone however, Lions were to have the final say scoring at the death for a final score of Pershore 10-43 Lions.

In the conditions, this was a good result and very much a case of a job well done. This fixture was and will be a potential banana skin for many sides in the league… so to collect the full five league points on offer and leave unscathed given our mounting availability concern was pleasing.

Not so pleasing, it must be said, was given our depleted personnel, the cancellation of Lions Development against Newbold 2nds, from myself and everyone at the club we are hugely embarrassed by this event and unreservedly apologise to Newbold.

# As ever, not to dwell, in the main because there is no time to do so, tomorrow Friday (October 30) we look forward to welcoming Leamington RFC to Webb Ellis Road in the quarter-final of the County Cup. This is a 7.30pm kick off and one not to be missed.

Leamington ply their trade one league higher than ourselves and we are looking forward to measuring ourselves against them.

# If the task of toppling Leamington was not demanding enough, 17 hours later Lions face Hinckley at their Leicester Road home, 12.30pm kick off in the Rob Walton Memorial Match. Please, please as much support as possible is wanted at both of these huge fixtures.

On Saturday everyone is invited, players, officials and supporters. Hinckley have a squad of 30 players, all friends of Yog. We need likewise and a strong showing on the touchline in order to pay our respects.

All proceeds from the day will go to the Rob Walton Family Trust that has been formed to support Yog’s four young children in his absence.

The win at Pershore sees Lions comfortably nestled joint third in the table, five points adrift of the leaders and with many of the higher placed sides yet to play one another, further ascent is soon hoped therefore.

# Another date for diaries: In the Midlands RFU Senior Vase Lions have drawn Stockwood Park at home on January 2. It has been said before, but… never a dull moment on Webb Ellis Road. We look forward to seeing you all on Friday night.