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Leicestershire start County Championship Shield with Essex win

30 April 2012

  • Padley and Ashfield set up Leicestershire win
  • East Midlands and Staffordshire beaten
Action from Leicestershire vs Essex

Photo: Ian Palfreyman

Leicestershire made an impressive start to their County Championship Shield campaign by beating Essex 40-8 at Market Harborough.

Leicestershire were beaten finalists two years ago and head coach Paul Walsh has set his sights on another trip to Twickenham with what he believes is an even stronger squad.

Leicestershire trailed briefly to an early penalty from Essex wing Chris Dudman of Westcliff but two tries in four minutes from number eight Ben Ashfield (Hinckley) and left wing James Padley (Oakham), both converted by Mark Lord of South Leicester, set them on their way.

Lock Stuart Bale (South Leicester) and Padley crossed for further tries to open up a 26-3 lead by the break.

Essex rallied when lock Josh Woodcock of Brentwood went over for an unconverted try midway through the second half but Leicestershire finished strongly.

Ashfield scored his second try of the match and flanker Paul Walsh of Syston – no relation to Leicestershire’s coach – scored further tries, both of them improved by Lord.

Action from Leicestershire vs Essex

Photo: Ian Palfreyman

Leicestershire now meet Buckinghamshire in a potential Pool Two decider at Vipers RFC on March 5.

Buckinghamshire began their campaign with a 23-5 win over East Midlands at Huntingdon.

Two tries from number eight Adam Whiter in a ten minutes period set up Buckinghamshire’s win. East Midlands responded with a consolation try from Kettering prop Kevin Osborne.

East Midlands play Essex at Eton Manor in their next match on May 5.

Staffordshire were overwhelmed 76-3 by Cumbria at Workington in their opening match in Pool One of the Shield.

Staffordshire, who were already missing their Stoke contingent because of a rearranged league match, travelled with only 17 in their squad and they could not contain a well-drilled and powerful Cumbria side.

Leek’s Gary McDermott scored Staffordshire’s only points with a first half penalty.

Staffordshire’s next match is against Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire at Longton on May 5.  


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