Great pictures from league leaders’ 32-16 victory
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 2 West (South)
Rugby Lions 32
The run continues, 16 without loss as Lions hosted Leamington RFC in the first outing of the New Year, writes Player Coach Rob Dignum.
We had enjoyed a wonderful week with a film crew interviewing and recording Thursday’s training and present again on Saturday… for Level 7, we are somewhat spoilt!
In truth this was un ugly win, but a win all the same; considering the greasy conditions, it was never going to be spectacular, add to this, with all due respect to Leamington who are a much-improved side from the 7-41 win at theirs in September, one could be forgiven for having half an eye on the Midlands semi-final a week on.
One of our ‘goals’ pre kick-off was not to concede penalties, which we seem to do at a fairly alarming rate; 19 therefore meant we might not have bothered to scribble this down; something we are keen to remedy, and quickly! 19 times to let a side off the hook, just halts any momentum.
Leamington started brightly keen to play with width and were rewarded early on with their ten Tom Jewitt knocking over a well-struck penalty. Quarter of an hour in and hooker Jim Gurling opened Lions’ scoring, barging his way over in the corner and Joe Higgins adding the extras from the touchline.
Twenty minutes in and it was another score in the corner, this time Ash Williams the beneficiary of good hands along the line to finish well. From the kick off came the team try of the season so far, this time full back Andy Bowyer going under the posts after some deft handling and neat inter-passing from Aiden Parkinson, among many others!
Shortly before half time Dave Bunting screeched over in the corner on the other wing after further good handling down the line, with the bonus point secured and a healthy 24-3 lead at the break.
The changing room instructions during the interval was more of the same, alas disappointingly we went a little off-piste and did not kick on in the second forty quite as we hoped.
Leamington are a good side and defended manfully, add to this a few balls were spilt that would have added impetus, plus the recurring sound of the whistle for penalties against us all added to a fairly non-eventful second half. Captain Chris Wood ordered Joe Higgins to convert a simple penalty from in front to extend Lions’ lead on the hour mark.
Leamington swiftly responded with three points of their own from Tom Jewitt and were next to cross, their pacey eleven, Garrett Bell scoring a good winger’s try in the corner.
Debutant fly half Matt Evans capped a fine display by crossing for Lions on 70 minutes and it was Leamington who were to have the last word as their back row Lewis Kelsey, who enjoyed a strong game, finished a rolling maul from a five metre line out.
This Saturday (January 14) it’s Lions’ RFU Midlands Intermediate Cup semi-final against Coalville.
The mouth-watering fixture at Webb Ellis Road kicks off at 2pm and all support welcome as it is needed. We had better win as it is my wife’s 40th birthday party too!