FIRST XV MATCH REPORT
By Joseph Verney
CHAMPIONS! LINCOLN WIN COUNTY CUP!
LINCOLN 1ST XV 34
STAMFORD 1ST XV 10
LINCOLNSHIRE COUNTY CUP FINAL
BY JOSEPH VERNEY
Lincoln’s 1st XV ended the season in style by lifting the Lincolnshire County Cup with a 34-10 victory over Stamford in the final.
Lincoln Rugby Club hosted three cup finals on May bank holiday Monday with the first team running out worthy winners in the final game.
Lewis Wilson, Will Scammell, Aiden Mason, John Aboitiz and Laurence Few crossed for Lincoln’s tries, with Richie Dixon adding three conversions and a penalty.
Stamford put some early pressure on Lincoln near the try line, but the host’s strong defence kept them out before Jack Miles produced an excellent ball steal to win possession soon after.
Lincoln opened the scoring after 18 minutes when quick passing set up Wilson, who stepped his man before running in for a try. Dixon successfully slotted over the conversion.
Lincoln increased their lead seven minutes later when Scammell made a great break upfield and chipped the ball over the top. Scammell then kicked the ball again and sprinted ahead of his opposite man to go over for his 15th try of the season.
Stamford produced a great turnover before piling pressure on near Lincoln’s try line, but once again the host’s defence held firm.
Lincoln were soon back on the attack with Scammell, Ben Sykes and Matt Walker all making great yards in Stamford’s half.
Stamford came close to reducing the deficit with a great break upfield, but a last-ditch tackle by Scammell ensured Lincoln had a 12-0 lead going in at the break.
Lincoln increased their advantage when Scammell broke through the defence and offloaded for Mason to run in for a try.
The hosts were playing some great rugby and Joe Moore ran at the Stamford defence in what was his last appearance for the club.
Lincoln forward Grant Cowe was shown a yellow card and Stamford took advantage of having an extra man when George Nairn went over for an unconverted try.
Stamford were enjoying a good spell of pressure and refused to give up, but the visitors soon fell further behind when Dixon showed nerves of steel to slot over a penalty.
A defensive lapse allowed Dan Heard to run in for a try as Stamford reduced the deficit to 20-10, but Lincoln soon regained control of the ball.
Mason shrugged off a few defenders deep inside Stamford’s half before Harry Cowles was tackled just short of the try line. Some great team play then put Aboitiz over for a try in the corner soon after and Dixon once again added the extras.
Lincoln crossed for their fifth try of the afternoon four minutes from time. Captain Leigh Dearden jumped to win a lineout before a great backs move with superb handling skills released Matt Walker, who ran at the defence and was tackled just short of the try line. However, Stamford were unable to stop Few from piling over for a try, which Dixon converted to complete the scoring.
POST MATCH COMMENTS
Centre Joe Moore, who is moving away from the area, was proud to end his Lincoln career on a high.
“I am incredibly proud to end three and a half years at Lincoln with a cup final win,” said Moore. “We came into the game with a plan. The boys not only executed it but came out with great intensity and ultimately that energy really showed.
“Lincoln is an incredibly welcoming club and I’ll really miss all the players and staff involved. I have been privileged to make some incredible friends and am sure this won’t be my last beer at the Lincoln bar.”
Captain Leigh Dearden added: “I’ve played rugby matches in their thousands and that’s up there with one of the proudest moments in my life.”
Stamford head coach Matt Albinson said: “We played some good front up rugby. We created a lot of opportunities in the first half, but didn’t execute them.
“Lincoln capitalised and finished well and they had a kicker making every five into seven.
“We learnt more from this whole season than in a cup final and I am very proud of all the boys.”