By Jamie Arrowsmith 24/04 Updated: 25/04 11:53
Northampton Old Scouts 20 Lutterworth 46
Midlands Two East (South)
TOM Hooper grabbed a hat-trick of tries to help Lutterworth clinch the victory they required on Saturday to move themselves within one win of promotion to Midlands One East.
Lutterworth finished second in the final table and will now head to Midlands Two East (North) runners-up Market Bosworth on Saturday in the promotion play-off, aiming to bring level six rugby to Ashby Lane for the first time in 142-years. And with the County Bowl final to follow, these are exciting times for everybody connected with the club.
Number eight Charlie Turner made early inroads into Northampton's defence and the hosts eventually conceded a penalty which James Lloyd sent through the uprights.
Within minutes, a perfectly floated pass from Lloyd to flanker Joe Sullivan off a shortened line-out saw the hosts' defence transfixed as if nailed to the spot and a simple pass to flanker Adam Welsh bypassed the full back for the first of seven Lutterworth tries. Lloyd converted to make it 10-0 after ten minutes.
Sullivan extended the lead when he went over in the corner after good work from hooker Warren Tebb and inside centre Dan Thacker.
Lloyd added the conversion, as he did to Hooper's try that followed quickly afterwards after Welsh, Chris Gregory and Phil Daffern created the opportunity.
Second row Ian Evans and Turner were stealing line-out ball at will but silly mistakes in the loose provided some relief to the home side.
Lutterworth were soon back on the front foot though and domination in the scrum saw stolen ball driven forward and Sullivan made 30-yards before a planned move off a second scrum allowed Turner to gift a deserved try to Lloyd.
Hooper’s second try came soon after thanks to perseverance from fly half James Cooke, who first kicked high into Old Scouts' half then received turnover ball, broke through the defence and fed Hooper to cross, Lloyd converted.
The final try of the half went to Old Scouts thanks to good work from their forwards but they still went in trailing 36-8.
Northampton closed the gap further at the start of the second half with another try before Evans got Lutterworth on the front foot again when grabbing a loose ball and feeding centre Tom Goldsworthy who won a penalty.
Continuing to pour forward, Lutterworth drew the defence wide and Hooper took the ball back inside to bring up his hat-trick.
Winger Bradley Pell was the next man to get his name on the scoresheet after a fine kick from Sullivan before the hosts had the final say with their third try of the contest.
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