FIRST XV MATCH REPORT
By Joseph Verney
LEAGUE TRAVELS END IN FRUSTRATION FOR LINCOLN
LOUGHBOROUGH 1ST XV 35
LINCOLN 1ST XV 12
BY JOSEPH VERNEY
Lincoln’s 1st XV endured frustration in their final away league game of the season as they dropped to 6th after a 35-12 defeat at Loughborough.
Lincoln’s top scoring back and forward Will Scammell and Matt Keeton crossed for the visitors’ tries and Richie Dixon added one conversion.
Scammell also crossed for a try when the two sides met in the reverse fixture back in December. Lincoln won that match 24-22, but luck was not on their side in Leicestershire.
The frustrating result was compounded by a triple injury blow as George Pomfret (shoulder), Josh Pratt (dislocated thumb) and Ben Sykes (head) were all forced off for the visitors.
A penalty and a runaway converted try from the winger saw Loughborough race into a 10-0 lead.
Loughborough increased their lead with a try from a ruck and another successful penalty putting them 18-0 in front going in at the break.
Lincoln continued to battle hard as both sides got frustrated with some of the referee’s decisions.
Loughborough added further scores to increase their lead to 35-0 and more or less put the result beyond doubt.
Lincoln were forced to play the final 30 minutes of the match with 14 men when Sykes took a knock to the head. The referee decided Sykes was not allowed to continue and, with no remaining substitutes, Lincoln were left a player down.
However, the visitors refused to give up and reduced the deficit when James Kirk, who was playing in his last league game for the club, broke through and raced 30 metres before offloading to Grant Cowe.
Cowe then carried the ball in and was tackled just short of the line before Keeton bounced two players out of the way to score a try his seventh try of the season.
Lincoln cut the gap in the score further with a move starting from a scrum 80 metres out. Scammell then exchanged passes with Matt Walker before sprinting clear for his 14th try of the season.
Dixon successfully slotted over the conversion, but it wasn’t enough to stop Lincoln’s three-match winning run in all competitions from coming to an end.
POST MATCH COMMENTS
Lincoln’s Malta international James Kirk was playing in his final league game before moving away, but he is backing his team-mates to end the campaign on a high.
“It was a disappointing performance from us especially after last week’s effort,” said Kirk. “Unfortunately we started slow and struggled to gain any momentum.
“Gutted to be missing next week’s game against Rasen, but I’m sure the boys will bring the intensity and get the result.
“I’m hoping to make an appearance in the county cup final as it would be great to end on a high.
“Since moving back from Hull in 2017 I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing back at my home club and I’ll make every effort to be supporting the boys next year.”