- Hertfordshire overpower North Midlands
- Leicestershire march on in Shield
North Midlands coach Scott Bemand tipped Hertfordshire for another appearance in the County Championship Bill Beaumont Cup after his side were trounced 52-8 at Old Albanians.
Hertfordshire were runners-up 12 months ago and Bemand, the former Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and Bath scrum half, was impressed by a side that contained five players from Aviva Premiership club Saracens including experienced centre Kameli Ratouvou and prop Petrus du Plessis.
“They finished second in the County Championship last year and I would think that Hertfordshire will win the Southern Group again,” Bemand said.
“We are not going to beat ourselves up too much about it. We got a bit of thumping but it’s not all doom and gloom.
“We are going to be competitive in our remaining group matches against Gloucestershire and Cornwall.
“We played a Hertfordshire side that included five players from Saracens. Most of our players were from clubs at level three and below. Our players enjoyed the experience of playing against players who normally play in the Premiership. It was hard work but they will benefit from the experience.”
Plymouth Albion centre Cameron Mitchell scored the North Midlands try with full back Caolan Ryan (Bromsgrove) kicking a penalty.
Warwickshire’s hopes of promotion to the top flight of the County Championship Bill Beaumont Cup suffered a setback with a 48-14 defeat by Durham at Blaydon.
Wing David Edwards and centre Alex White, both of Sutton Coldfield, scored Warwickshire’s tries with White converting both.
Warwickshire travelled without their new head coach Neil Best, the former Ireland international flanker, who was playing for Worcester Warriors at Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership.
Leicestershire continued their impressive campaign in the County Championship Shield by beating Buckinghamshire 43-12 at Vipers.
Centre Ryan Oakes of Hinckley scored two tries for Leicestershire who make the short trip to Kettering to play East Midlands in their final Pool Two match next Saturday.
Hooker Luke Coltman (South Leicester), wing Kris McFeddries (South Leicester) and flanker Ben Avent (Hinckley) also scored tries for Leicestershire who were also awarded a penalty try for a collapsed maul.
Mark Lord of South Leicester converted five of the tries along with a second half penalty.
East Midlands were beaten 13-5 by Essex in a match that was switched to Basildon because of waterlogging at Eton Manor and Barking. Broadtreet wing Ian Rennard scored East Midlands’ only try in the first half.
In Pool One Staffordshire fly half Tom Hughes (Sale) scored four tries in the 38-12 win over Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire at Stafford.
Longton centre Henry Vaka scored a brace of tries and he also kicked four conversions.
NLD responded with tries from centre Danny Graney (Paviors) and prop David Davies (Sleaford) with full back George Billam (Paviors) kicking a conversion. NLD host Cumbria at Mansfield next Saturday in their final pool match.