a good day at Webb EllisSat 30 Sep

In the latest round of Midlands 1 West action, Stoke on Trent were the visitors to Webb Ellis Road. Lion’s new signing, Carl Strickson started at number 10 with Dave Weston reverting to centre. Rugby began strongly and had the visitors on the back foot from the off. A trademark catch and drive after 10 minutes led to John Hemsley being driven over for an unconverted try. Stoke responded well and were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts for not rolling away.

Lion’s pack clearly had the upper hand and Daniel Parrrington was denied in the corner by a foot in touch. Rugby gained possession from the line-out and a lovely inside pass from Strickson saw Hemsley in for his second try. Weston converted to give the home side a 12-3 lead. Some lovely interplay by Cheney, Weston and Curtis freed up space for Strickson to streak over under the posts to make the conversion a formality.

Lion’s pack shoved Stoke off their own ball on their 22 and drove over the line for Chris Wood to claim the try and the extra bonus point. Stoke were not done yet and came back with a converted try of their own to reduce the deficit to 16 points. A late penalty by Weston made the half time score 29-10.

With Stoke looking a little jaded, Lion’s supporters were expecting the second half to be one- way traffic, but deteriorating weather conditions and a resurgence from the visitors combined to make a much more even second half. Some weak tackling by Rugby seemed to give Stoke some confidence and they began to make some telling breaks. Lion’s were being pegged in their own half, and some desperate defence was giving away a number of penalties. A lovely cross kick by the Stoke stand-off to the right touch-line was taken by the winger who fed the ball inside for a simple converted try near the posts. Rugby responded immediately, and with their first visit into the visitor’s half, Stuart Lee crossed in front of the clubhouse after strong runs from Alex Tansley and Lois Addleton. The conversion from the touch-line was superbly struck by Dave Weston to restore Lion’s 19 point lead.

Having already received a final warning for persistently infringing, the referee lost his patience and a yellow card was shown to Lois Addleton. Stoke were running everything trying to make their numerical advantage count, and came close to scoring on a number of occasions. Lions, however had the last say when their second excursion into Stoke territory resulted in another try from a catch and drive, this time claimed by Tom Cheney. Weston again converted from the touch-line to complete the scoring.

Next Sunday sees the Lions playing Sutton Coldfield in the semi final of the Warwickshire cup at Broadstreet. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

                     Final score: -   Rugby Lions 43  Stoke on Trent 17

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