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Leicestershire aim for Shield success

27 May 2014

  • Third time lucky Walsh hopes
  • Lord back to face Surrey

Leicestershire hope that it will be third time lucky when they face Surrey in the County Championship Shield final at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, June 1 (5.15pm).

It will be the third time in five seasons that Leicestershire have reached the Shield final but they are still seeking their first title following defeats by Dorset & Wiltshire (36-26) in 2010 and by Surrey (43-12) two years ago.

“We felt that the final two years ago was a game we could have won. It turned on a try that we had disallowed for a forward pass just before half-time,” said Leicestershire head coach Paul Walsh.

“So we know what to expect from Surrey and we know how they will be good.

“It’s our third final in five years and, having lost the previous two, we hope that this might be our year.”

Walsh's side reached their third final by beating Cumbria, who were beaten by Surrey in last season’s final, at Aspatria in last weekend’s semi-final.

Leicestershire were beaten by Essex in their opening pool match at Vipers in a game they dominated but failed to convert pressure into points.

They then beat Buckinghamshire at Amersham & Chiltern and edged out Warwickshire in the pool decider at Hinckley after Warwickshire had been deducted four points for playing two ineligible players earlier in the tournament.

Leicestershire beat Cumbria without South Leicester fly half Mark Lord, who was unavailable last weekend, but he will be back in their squad for Sunday’s final.

Lord’s clubmate Ricky Aley proved a capable deputy at Aspatria despite receiving a late call-up and he has also played himself into the final squad.

Walsh, a former member of the England Under 18 coaching set-up, has again been assisted by Ian Smith, the former Leicester Tigers captain, with Michael Holford, the Nottingham and former Leicester prop, joining the coaching team this season.