FIRST XV MATCH REPORT
By Joseph Verney
LATE SCAMMELL TRY ENSURES LINCOLN VICTORY
LINCOLN 1ST XV 17
LONG EATON 1ST XV 12
BY JOSEPH VERNEY
A last-gasp try from top scorer Will Scammell helped Lincoln’s 1st XV move up to fifth and all but end Long Eaton’s promotion push with a 17-12 home victory.
The dramatic late score added to Scammell’s earlier try. Prop David Beveridge also crossed for a try and Richie Dixon added one conversion.
After comprehensively winning the reverse fixture 45-7 and flying high up in Midlands Two East (North) Long Eaton were always going to be tricky opponents. But Lincoln seemed determined to avenge December’s defeat and showed great character to get the victory.
Lincoln were awarded a succession of early penalties while Long Eaton also enjoyed a good spell of pressure in the opening 10 minutes.
Whenever Long Eaton attacked in Lincoln’s half the home defence stayed strong with John Aboitiz, Sean Chapman and captain Leigh Dearden putting in some great early tackles.
Lincoln came close to opening the scoring when Matt Keeton made a great run up field before kicking the ball forward. Lincoln’s Tongan forward Laguna Fisiihoi tried to sprint after the loose ball and was only just beaten to the try line by an opposition player.
Man of the match James Kirk, who was playing his last home league game for the club, made a great run deep into the opposition half. Lewis Wilson and Laurence Few also made good strong yards as Lincoln continued to put pressure on Long Eaton.
A quickly taken tap penalty by Mitch Ashworth very nearly led to the opening score midway through the first half, but the scrum half was tackled just short of the try line.
Long Eaton also came close to breaking the deadlock when their full-back made a great break through the defence. He looked certain to score until Scammell produced a superb try saving tackle to put the Long Eaton player into touch.
From the resulting lineout Long Eaton drove forward before a move through the hands of the backs ended with the ball being dropped.
The first score of the game arrived shortly before the half hour mark. Wilson went on a run from his own half, powering through and shrugging off tackles before offloading to Few.
Lincoln continued to attack and Chapman ran down the wing before play broke down. Beveridge reacted quickly to pick the ball up from a ruck and go over for an unconverted try in the corner.
The hosts seemed determined to add to their lead with Grant Cowe, Josh Pratt and Wilson making great runs through the Long Eaton defence, but it was the visitors who were next to score.
Scammell nearly pulled off another try saving tackle but Jacob Wright managed to force his way over for an unconverted try.
Lincoln ended the first half strongly with Chapman and Wilson’s runs causing more problems for the Long Eaton defence, but the move was ended when Beveridge’s kick went out of play.
Long Eaton put pressure on Lincoln early in the second half, but the hosts’ defence matched anything that was thrown at them as great tackles by Scammell and Cowe kept them out.
Lincoln soaked up the pressure before mounting attacks of their own. Beveridge went on a great run through the defence, but he was tackled before any support arrived.
A strong forward drive nearly put Lincoln over for a try but Cowe was tackled a few metres short of the line.
Lincoln took the lead with their second try of the match after 55 minutes. Kirk shrugged off a tackle as he made a great break upfield before a perfectly-timed offload released Scammell to run in for a try. Dixon successfully slotted over the conversion.
Lincoln forward Ben Sykes was shown a yellow card after a series of team offences. Long Eaton tried to take advantage of having an extra man and piled pressure on the Lincoln try line, but a superb tackle from Cowe kept them out.
Long Eaton thought they had reduced the deficit with a try after 68 minutes, only to see it disallowed by the referee. The referee later confirmed that it was disallowed because when the ruck formed it was not the rear man who picked the ball up.
The visitors were not to be denied seven minutes later as missed tackles saw them run in for a converted try to level the score.
Lincoln seemed determined to push for the win in the closing stages of the match with Kirk and Sam Cowles making great yards deep inside the opposition’s half.
Sykes saw a late try disallowed for the rear man not picking the ball up from a ruck, but there was still time for more drama.
With just a minute left to play Sykes made a great break through the defence and offloaded for Fisiihoi. The Tongan forward made good yards before passing to Wilson who expertly tipped the ball across for Scammell to run in for the match-winning try.
POST MATCH COMMENTS
Try hero Will Scammell believes Lincoln were more than deserving of the victory against their Derbyshire opponents.
“We started the game hungry to put it right after a really poor away performance against them,” said Scammell. “We knew they had a good squad with a great set of skills and we were mindful of their quality out wide.
“We put a lot of work in midweek on our defence which helped us close down their attacking options.
“I am really satisfied to beat third in the league. It shows the quality we can deliver, we just need to do it more regularly.”
On the match-winning try Scammell added: “I was fortunate to benefit from a lot of good work from Tongan Pete and Lewis Wilson and there wasn’t much left for me to do.”