- Stourbridge Lions crash to Selby
- Old Yardleians edged out by holders
Midlands clubs Stourbridge Lions and Old Yardleians missed out on trips to Twickenham after they were beaten by Yorkshire opponents in the national semi-finals of RFU Cup competitions.
Stourbridge Lions went down 36-8 to Selby at Stourton Park in the last four of the RFU Senior Vase while Old Yardleians were edged out 15-14 at defending champions Baildon in the RFU Junior Vase.
For Stourbridge Lions it was the second successive season that they had fallen at the semi-final hurdle but Stuart Doolittle, captain of the Midlands Senior Vase winners, was philosophical about the defeat.
“It’s disappointing to go out but we always regarded this as a free game,” Doolittle said.
“Our targets this season were to retain the Midlands Senior Vase and to win promotion. We’ve already won our cup and the next four games will decide whether we get promoted or not.
“If we can get promoted as well as retaining our cup it won’t have been a bad season.”
Back-row forward Doolittle scored Stourbridge Lions’ only try and Tom Mitchell kicked a penalty.
The departure of utility forward Scott Langdon, who was called away when his wife went into labour, was a further blow to their hopes of making it to Twickenham for the first time and making up for the disappointment of last year’s semi-final defeat at Wath Upon Dearne.
Fly half Josh Cruise kicked 16 of Selby’s points. Hooker Duncan Hardy scored two tries with Ben Booth and Karim Brown getting the others.
Selby will now meet Drybrook from Gloucestershire in the final at Twickenham.
Old Yardleians, who edged out Harbury with a last-gasp penalty in the Midlands Junior Vase final, missed out in another thriller against Baildon at Jenny Lane.
A snow-clearing operation by Baildon supporters ensured that the match went ahead as scheduled and their efforts were rewarded with a compelling contest that was a terrific advert for the competition.
Captain and back-row forward Ben Honey scored Old Yardleians only try and Jake White kicked three penalties.
A try from full back Nicky Lister early in the second half proved decisive and took Baildon through to a meeting with Newent in the final.
Coalville carry the Midlands hopes in the RFU Intermediate Cup and will attempt to prevent a third Yorkshire club going through to Twickenham when they host Bridlington in a postponed semi-final on Saturday, April 6.