- Leicestershire rout NLD
- Reid masterminds Warwickshire win
Photo: Ian Palfreyman
Leicestershire and Warwickshire both made confident starts to their County Championship Shield campaigns yesterday.
Leicestershire, beaten finalists twice in three seasons, again suggested that they will be a force to be reckoned with by routing Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire 81-3 at Newark while Warwickshire, who have dropped from the Bill Beaumont Cup Second Division to the County Shield this season, beat Buckinghamshire 41-12 at High Wycombe.
Leicestershire overcame the handicap of having South Leicester’s Luke Coltman, their captain and hooker, sent off after 15 minutes for alleged foul play.
They were also reduced to 13 men for ten minutes in the second half when South Leicester prop Rob McNaughton was sin-binned for a technical offence but still managed to restrict NLD to just a second-half penalty from Market Rasen & Louth full back Matt Sutton.
A one-sided contest was all over by half-time as Leicestershire romped into a 48-0 lead.
Wing Devon Constant (Hinckley) scored a brace of tries before the break and he completed his hat-trick with Leicestershire’s final try in the final play of the match.
There were two tries apiece for Hinckley centre Phil Brocken and Tring wing Sam Barnes and one each for South Leicester scrum half Joe Glover, South Leicester number eight Chris Bale Hinckley flanker Ben Ashfield, Hinckley full back Mitch Culpin and his replacement Josh Smith (Hinckley).
Fly half Matt Lord of South Leicester converted nine of the 12 tries and he also kicked a penalty for a personal haul of 21 points.
Warwickshire were always in control at High Wycombe and moved clear in the final quarter after Buckinghamshire had pulled back to 27-12 at one stage.
A side containing 12 newcomers came together well under player/coach Huw Thomas with wing Paul Drury of Old Wheatleyans scoring two tries on his debut.
Phil Reed, Newbold’s experienced centre, marshalled the backs and scored two tries.
Clony Henry (Newbold) and Ben Carney (Broadstreet) scored Warwickshire’s other tries with Thomas (Nuneaton) landing two conversions and a penalty and Rob Bennett (Nuneaton) two conversions.
Warwickshire host Essex at Coventry on May 4 while NLD face Cumbria at Wigton in their final pool match. Leicestershire’s next outing is against Cumbria at Penrith on May 11.