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Twickenham a bonus for Stourbridge Lions

26 March 2013

  • Selby test for Lions
  • Stourton Park double-header on Saturday

Stourbridge Lions would regard a trip to Twickenham for this season's RFU Senior Vase final as a bonus.

The Black Country club had set their sights on retaining the Midlands Senior Vase and winning promotion from Midlands Three West (North) and achieved one of their objectives when they edged out Old Leamingtonians to win the regional competition earlier this month.

Next up for Stourbridge Lions are Selby, the North champions, in the national semi-finals of the RFU Senior Vase on Saturday, March 30, with a trip to Twickenham on May 4 the reward for the winners.

“It would be a fantastic experience for the boys if we could get to Twickenham,” said Stourbridge Lions captain Stuart Doolittle.

“Our wing Nick Mann went there last year with Old Swinford Hospital School so it’s not something completely unknown to us.

“But it’s also not the be all and end all of our season. We have been very open about our objectives this season. We said we wanted to win our cup and also to win promotion.

“We’ve won the cup, we are still in with a chance of promotion and Twickenham would just be a nice bonus for us.”

Last season Stourbridge Lions fell at the semi-final stage when they were heavily beaten at Wath Upon Dearne, another Yorkshire club.

“You don’t get to this stage of the competition and expect an easy game,” Doolittle said. “Wath showed us last year how hard it really was.

“We have had a few reports on Selby. We know they had a big win in the North final but apparently Trafford MV had a player red-carded reasonably early on.”

Discussions are still taking place as to which pitch at Stourton Park the semi-final will be played on but it seems unlikely that it will be on the main stadium pitch.

The ground is currently blanketed in snow and Stourbridge are also at home to Sheffield Tigers in a National Two North league game on Saturday.

“The kick-off times are going to be staggered so that spectators can come along and watch both matches,” Doolittle said.

“The details are still being finalised at the moment but it’s likely that we will kick off at 2pm and Stourbridge will follow at 3.30pm or 4pm.”

Stourbridge Lions hope that back-row forward Dan Shrimpton and utility forward Scott Langdon, who was injured against Old Leamingtonians, will both pass midweek fitness tests.