By Jamie Arrowsmith 09/05 Updated: 14/05 12:01
Lutterworth 41 Market Harborough 7
Leicestershire County Bowl Final
LUTTERWORTH ended their season on a high note on Saturday when winning the County Bowl final against their local rivals.
Harborough were first out of the traps but missed two penalty opportunities when the keen home side forwards found themselves the wrong side of the ball in early rucks.
Captain Richard Jones took charge for Lutterworth, taking the ball deep into the opposition’s half before being taken to ground.
Lutterworth’s pack were dominant and a lesson in scrummaging was on the cards but Harborough kept feeding the ball wide, allowing their speedy wingers to cause concern. This was clearly going to be a game of tactics.
A serious shoulder injury to a Harborough player moved the game to another pitch but it seemed to spur them on as they attacked from every angle - but with clear ascendancy in the forwards, the breakdown ball was mostly Lutterworth’s.
At one point Harborough charged down a clearance kick from Lutterworth’s line but it went dead, allowing a clearance to follow from a twenty-two drop-out.
Lutterworth regained composure and were soon on the attack, inching forward and recycling ball and from a line-out just ten yards out, a clean take by Charlie Turner was mauled forward over the Harborough line, second row Dave Docherty dropped on the ball to score.
Harborough fought back, spinning ball out wide quickly and making ground but Brad Pell and Ben Hooper were doing their job well on the Lutterworth wings to repel the attacks.
The hosts were holding possession well whenever they got the ball and set pieces were coming almost at will, but the final passes were being disrupted and not going to hand. Flanker Richard Bailey and centre Tom Goldsworthy were dominating the loose and bringing down any attempt by Harborough to attack through the middle but Harborough continued to hang on.
Three scrums in a row on Harborough’s line drew brave defence from the visitors but the pummelling just kept coming as Lutterworth were determined to put the game to bed before half time.
They did get a second score just before the break when taking a Harborough scrum against the head and pushing Josh Russell over from five yards, Lloyd converted for a 12-0 interval advantage.
With the game switching back to the main pitch at the break, Lutterworth were spurred on and quickly added to their lead when Turner scored a converted try from a ruck.
Lloyd’s penalty sent Lutterworth further clear but Harborough caught them napping from the restart as they scored a converted try.
Lutterworth turned up the pressure again and off the back of a scrum an inside pass to Hooper saw him dodge four tackles before going in under the posts to give Lloyd a simple conversion.
Just two minutes later a clearance was carried back by Sullivan and two rucks later Lloyd crossed before converting himself.
The visitors kept fighting until the end but Lutterworth had the final say when fast hands found Pell in space to dodge the last tackle and score in the corner.
THERE was further reason for the club to celebrate on Sunday when the 2nds overcame Newbold at Old Laurentians RFC to win the Clonmell Cup.
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