Lions travel to SolihullSat 05 Nov
Round 7 of league action saw we Lions taking our 100% record to Solihull pitched against Old Silhillians RFC at their impressive Warwick Road home, writes Player Coach Rob Dignum. Silhillians narrowly came down from Mids 1 last season, their only loss this campaign by a single score away to Earlsdon; suffice to say this was going to be a tight one.
There was no hype nor any pre-match silly slobber as there has been in recent games, the best yet being Spartans miffed at us ‘parading our two expensive latest signings about the pitch’ before our fixture with them a week ago; they two gents actually being from the local estate agents that have kindly sponsored our match shirts! Instead, just two teams eager to get on with the rugby in crisp autumnal conditions.
The game kicked off at a frenetic pace, Sills opting to play the first 40 into the gale. 6 minutes in and Lions got off to a good start, the home 10 Ben Crowe put under pressure throwing a loose pass that was gratefully accepted by Dan Ford to run in under the posts, Joe Higgins adding the extras.
On 20 minutes man of the match and Lions captain Chris Wood was next to cross. Picking from the base of a scrum close to Sill’s line his athleticism and outlandish dummy taking him under the posts, Higgins again adding the extras, 0-14.
Lions were seemingly in control and were again on the attack when an indifferent kick down the throat of the appreciative Sill’s saw their 15, Matt Lee dive in at the corner.
33 minutes in and next on the scoresheet was Lions wing Jack Williams after good controlled attacking play that dragged Sill’s ‘D’ from one side of the field to the other leaving a simple run in at the corner. This was quickly followed with Crowe accepting a simple 3 points for an infringement in front of the uprights for a half time score of 8-19. Having outscored our hosts 3 tries to 1 and been our usual benevolent selves in presenting Sill’s with their scores; we were relatively in command, once again the score board not quite agreeing so however.
The second 40 got under way with Sill’s rejuvenated and with the wind at their back, it was their turn to start the stronger. Indeed so it proved, their 9, Tom Lee who was elusive and a thorn in Lions side sniping at the edge of each breakdown all afternoon crossed for his first try, Crowe adding the extras on 45 minutes; Sill’s 15-19 Lions; game very much on.
5 minutes later, Lions pack rumbled forward and Sam Herrington emerged with the ball, 15-24 and some breathing space. Tit for tat again ensued, Tom Lee bagging his second and Sill’s third on 54 minutes, before Lions prolific scorer Tansley barged his way over on 63 minutes for a 22-31 lead. This should have been the time to build a lead as Sill’s lost two of their forwards to the bin for persistent offending, yet oddly it was all Sill’s for the remainder of the game, Lee bagging his third on 79 minutes after yet more sniping; in order to save time Crowe knocked the conversion over via a drop goal to set up a nail biting final minute at 29-31. We had done it to ourselves again. With all due respect to a well drilled Sill’s, we were on top in most areas of the game, barring the scoreboard… if nothing else, we are entertaining to watch as improbably we had created a whole host of problems for ourselves allowing the opposition to be within touching distance, yet again. Happily we hung on, but how we keep having crescendo endings to fixtures is causing the coaches some unrest.
Sill’s were wonderful hosts; players from both sides enjoyed liquid refreshment on the pitch together immediately after the battle. By their own admission, they had played the game of their lives and Lions having crossed 5 times had just about done enough to secure the 5 league points, albeit with blood pressure heightened at the death.
This Saturday we are happy to divert out attention away from the league and to hosting Rushden and Higham in the last 16 of the Midlands Intermediate Cup. 2:15 kick off at Webb Ellis Road, the bar is stocked, the training this week promises to be intense… as ever all support welcome and we look forward to seeing you Saturday.