full 5 points for the LionsSat 02 Sep

For their opening league match in Midlands 1 West, Lions made the short trip to Lutterworth for a tricky looking encounter. It was good to see an old lion's favourite in the shape of Richard Pell in the crowd whose son was playing for the home side.

In lovely sunshine, Lions started well and were soon in front from a penalty in front of the posts. The restart was won by Lions on their own 22 and the ball was shipped wide to the diminutive Daniel Parrington. He set off down the line at speed and with a couple of side-steps, touched down in the corner for a great try. The conversion from the touch line by Dave Weston put Lions in front by ten points. This was reduced to seven following a penalty for the home side.

Rugby re-applied the pressure, but a couple of penalty attempts drifted wide of the posts. Back came Lutterworth, with some pressure of their own, and good hands saw their winger go over in the corner. The conversion was narrowly missed. Lions came back immediately and a powerful drive by the pack was halted illegally, and a penalty try was awarded with the culprit given a spell in the bin. More pressure from the visitors resulted in some panic in trying to clear their lines and Stuart Lee gratefully intercepted a loose pass to cross under the posts. The conversion made the score 8-24. Lutterworth were not done yet, however, and in the ninth minute of injury time they finally bludgeoned their way over the line to make the half-time score 15-24.

The second half began with a good drive by Lion's pack which was halted by a foot on the touchline. The throw was tapped back loosely and Tom Cheney picked up and drove over the line to secure the try bonus point. The conversion attempt failed. Back came Lutterworth, and following a string of penalties, their pack drove over to reduce the deficit to nine points. Play was becoming very scrappy with numerous penalties conceded by both sides. Sam Herrington set Jonny Ure down the touch line and received the ball from the resulting ruck. From ten metres out the try was inevitable. Again the conversion was wide of the posts.

Lions conceded another penalty for holding on, and a quick tap kick resulted in a try under the posts and seven points. The home side were not out of the game yet and with Rugby attempting to run everything from their own 22, the Lion's supporters were beginning to get a little edgy. A good line, run by the home centre, resulted in a converted try under the posts, and Lutterworth were amazingly level. From the restart, with time almost up, a mazy run from Dave Weston put the pressure back on the home side, and a penalty was won just outside the 22 and 15 metres from the touchline. Weston decided to go for the posts, but with numerous similar attempts wasted, the Lion's supporters held their breaths. The ball sailed between the uprights and the final whistle sounded to the delight of the players and supporters alike. A great start to the season with five points in the bag, although in the end it was closer than it probably should have been.

Final score:-   Lutterworth 34  Rugby Lions 37

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