Lions Stay In Touch After Win at Kiddie
A hard-fought, close win at Kidderminster
The Lions, bruised after their loss at home to Camp Hill, went to local rivals Kidderminster determined to get back on track. As ever the game ebbed and flowed between the local rivals, with the outcome uncertain right to the final whistle.
An uneven start by both sides led to a period of Lions pressure and 2 Trinham penalties in the first quarter were perhaps scant reward for their efforts. Back came Kidderminster and a series of driving runs and mauls took them to the Lions line and a resultant penalty to reduce the arrears to 6-3. Soon after another period of pressure ended with a smart blindside move by the home side with the winger going over near the right corner. At the half the score remained 8-6 to the home side despite the Lions going close near the end.
The early part of the second half belonged to the Lions, with another try by right wing Tildesley after a lineout, some driving by the forwards and a pass by Cass Brookes. The conversion by Trinham gave a 13-8 lead. A penalty from Kiddie reduced it to 13-11 and the Lions sustained severe pressure. However, solid and aggressive defence forced an interception on half-way after 20 minutes and centre Elliot Hopkin raced clear to score near the posts. Another Trinham conversion saw the Lions seemingly away at 20-11.
However, the Lions have learned never to take things for granted against their close rivals. After a somewhat mystifying sending-off for Hopkin after a 22 drop-out by the home side, the 14 men had to hold out for 15 minutes against increasing home pressure, culminating in a converted try by Kiddie to reduce the deficit to 20-18 with around 5 minutes left. Credit to the Lions, the remainder of the match took place in the home half and the away side came away with an essential and hard-earned victory.
Next week’s game against top of the table Leek now stands as perhaps the most crucial in the Lions’ history. Win and the title and promotion beckons. Lose and although desperately disappointing, this would still represent the highest ever point for Lions rugby.
Photos courtesy of Sian Davies