Wins for OLs and Saints as Welsh push leaders to the end
They’ve done it! Congratulations to Newbold and Rugby Lions - both crowned league champions in a fantastic weekend for all our teams.
Going into Saturday’s penultimate games of the season, Newbold needed victory over bottom club Ilkeston to secure to the Midlands 1 East title and a place in National Division 3. This they did in superb style, winning 75-0 to delight fans and start the celebrations at Parkfield Road.
Newbold on 115 points, can’t be caught with just a trip to second-placed Kettering on April 22 to complete the season. Kettering, who won 54-17 at Melton Mowbray on Saturday, are on 106 and Old Northamptonians third with 97.
Lions, although top of Midlands 2 West (South), were only five points ahead so fans were not expecting to be celebrating quite so soon, but with both nearest rivals surprisingly losing, the Webb Ellis Road side are promoted as champions.
Lions clinched the title in emphatic fashion against bottom club Dunlop, 134-12. Second placed Silhillians were beaten 22-14 at home by Berkswell & Balsall and third-placed Spartans went down 34-29 at Malvern.
With Lions completing their season on the 22nd at sixth-placed Earlsdon, the battle for the play-off spot will see Sils at Dunlop and Spartans at Barkers Butts.
Lions have 89 points, Sils 79, Spartans 78, Berkswell & Balsall fourth on 66, Malvern fifth on 60 and Earlsdon 57.
Old Laurentians were also pleased to be back to winning ways with a 26-17 result over 11th-placed Vipers. OLs are sure of a top five finish, going into their final game, also at Fenley Field on the 22nd, when they host third placed Olney.
Their Midlands 2 East (South) table, sees champions Peterborough on 96 points, Oundle second on 76, Olney third on 71, Oadby Wyggestonians fourth on 70, OLs on 67 and Oakham sixth with 60 points.
It was also a very good day at John Tomalin Way for Rugby St Andrews, who built on last week’s excellent display against Midlands 3 West (South) unbeaten champions Driotwich, to shock second-placed Evesham with a 42-16 victory.
Saints’ last game on the 22nd sees them hosting third-placed Ledbury, who lost 47-31 to ninth-placed Old Wheatleyans at the weekend. With the play-off spot still to be decided, Evesham host Shipston on Stour, who lost 36-16 at home to Droitwich. Saints are still seventh in the table, with Droitwich 29 points clear at the top on 103, Evesham on 74 and Ledbury 70.
Over at Alwyn Road, it was the last game of the league season for Rugby Welsh, who hosted champions Burbage and gave them a real battle. Their visitors only sealed victory 34-19 late on in an excellent contest.
Other Midlands 5 West South results on Saturday saw Atherston beat Birmingham Exiles 33-27 and Birmingham Civil Service winning 110-19 at Copsewood. Rugby Welsh finish fourth, with the final table reading: Burbage 86 points, Birmingham Civil Servic 75, Birmingham Exiles 47, Rugby Welsh 44, Atherstone 34, Trinity Guild 21 and Copsewood 5.
Welsh can look back with pride on their performances in 2017 and this weekend (Easter Saturday) Welsh face local rivals AEI in a friendly, kicking off at Alwyn Road at 3pm.
DON’T MISS OUR PICTURE SLIDESHOWS FROM NEWBOLD AND LIONS COMING UP LATER