Low Point for the Lions in Mids One First Season
By Mark Denison
The Lions have achieved much this season already, potential safety in a league where they were expected to really struggle, 9 wins and over 50 points.
The last 2 months have proved very difficult, however; from a high point of 6th they are now threatened by teams coming through from below. The next game, Camp Hill away, is crucial, although a strong showing should steady the nerves before the season-ending game at home to second placed DK. The Lions have, hopefully by now, have done enough to survive in this league, being 16 points clear of Camp Hill in 13th place and 25 points clear of Wolves at the bottom.
The game against leaders Burton was always going to be difficult even before the Lions were shorn of 13 players through injury and unavailability. A much-changed outfit, featuring several Hounds players found a bigger, more powerful and well-drilled Burton far to hot to handle and the 101-5 scoreline reflected the huge gap between the two sides. Credit to all of the players, therefore, for fighting manfully right to the end and rarely letting their heads drop. That they scored a try through Rob Aikman after a sharp interchange down the right, in the face of the storm was also greatly to their credit.
38-0 down at half-time, conceding 5 tries, the Lions still tried to defend and counter-attack throughout the second half, but a tiring defence eventually conceded another 9 tries before the end. Burton look the best side they have played this season and are clear favourites now for promotion.
As is clear, this has been a fine season overall, with the squad exceeding expectations and producing many fine wins, notably Bromsgrove and Stoke at home and a great double over Rugby Lions. It needs to be remembered that some of the sides in this division were playing against the full Stourbridge professional side within the last 10-15 years.
However, as previously stated, the squad is not strong enough as a whole to cope with more than a few injuries and the search for summer acquisitions to add to the numbers must be a priority, as must the building of a powerful Hounds squad to supplement that. A great first Mids 1 season which must give Tibbo and Dawes much pride and satisfaction; the hard work now begins.
Match report by JON DEWS, pics by SIAN DAVIES