- Doolittle celebrates Lions achievement
- Coalville and Old Yardleians through to national semis
Stourbridge Lions retained their Midlands Senior Vase title with a hard-earned 10-3 win over Old Leamingtonians at Stourton Park.
The win moved Stourbridge Lions to within one game of an appearance in a Twickenham final and they will now entertain Selby in the national semi-finals of the RFU Senior Vase on March 30.
Stourbridge Lions were beaten by Wath Upon Dearne at the same stage of last season’s competition but their success will cause headaches for club officials as their semi-final clashes with a home game for their sister club Stourbridge against Sheffield Tigers in National Two North.
Stourbridge Lions went 10-0 up inside 12 minutes after right wing Daniel Cox and captain and number eight Stuart Doolittle crossed for early tries.
But Old Leamingtonians grew in strength as the game progressed and they might have snatched victory had their fly half Angus Rose managed to land more than one of his four penalty attempts.
“Retaining the trophy is probably a bigger achievement than winning it last year,” said Doolittle. “Everywhere we have gone teams have said: the pressure is on you.
“What we set out to do this season was to get promoted and to win our cup. If we get to Twickenham then that is a bonus, which is the same as last year.”
Coalville won the Midlands Intermediate Cup by beating Old Laurentians 29-14 at the Memorial Ground and they will also have a home semi-final in the RFU Intermediate Cup against Yorkshire opponents in the Bridlington on March 30.
Coalville, coached by former Leicester prop Stuart Redfern, trailed 8-0 early on but soon established control and ran in five tries with wing Myles Griffin and number eight Stewart Tang each scoring a brace. Matt Twigg scored Coalville’s other try.
Old Yardleians were indebted to fly half Jake White for taking them to the Midlands Junior Vase with an 11-9 win at Harbury and into the national semi-finals.
White struck the winning penalty with a pressure kick deep into stoppage time to secure a trip to Baildon, the RFU Junior Vase holders, on March 30.
Old Yardleians wing James Hendricks scored the only try of the match midway through the first half and White found the target, despite a muddy pitch, to help Old Yardleians avenge their only defeat this season by their Midlands Four West (South) rivals.