Lions Go Down at Droitwich
By Mark Denison
Mistakes and a lack of accuracy the order of the night
Where the previous week, although losing to leaders Bromsgrove, the Lions were courageous and focused in defeat, this week they made far too many mistakes against a Droitwich side they had comfortably beaten earlier in the season and who secured their own safety in Mids 1 for next season. In losing 36-24 they failed to gain a bonus point, conceding 6 tries, 3 of which were easily avoidable.
The Lions started brightly, getting into the Droitwich 22 early and having chances to go ahead, but each time eagerness or inaccuracy let them down. By contrast almost the first Droitwich attack brought an unconverted try after 15 minutes. Again the Lions made headway, but another promising foray came to nothing and the home side went further behind 12 minutes later with a converted try.
At last the Lions scored. A lineout and a couple of phases close to the home 22 saw Tom Mitchell’s clever chip over the defence land for Nick Mann to touch down. Mitchell’s conversion gave the Lions hope at 7-12, but only for a minute. Droitwich gained the ball from the kick-off and almost immediately scored, courtesy of the Lions switching off. The conversion gave them a 19-7 lead, which was only partly reduced by a Mitchell penalty for 10-19 at the break.
Droitwich took further advantage of Lions sloppiness in the first 2 minutes of the second half, going over for a converted try. 6 minutes later the Lions retaliated with another fine try from Nick Mann after a miss move from a lineout gave him space for another converted try. 17-26 and still all to play for.
Unfortunately, a combination of falling foul of the referee at crucial moments, coupled with sluggish defence, led to two more Droitwich tries and the mountain proved too high to climb. The Lions persevered with a further converted try by Pennock, but the damage had been done and the Lions fell short by 12 points.
An ultimately disappointing defeat where the Lions did themselves no favours in between some great attacking play. More ruthlessness in attack allied to greater defensive concentration could have seen a different outcome but credit to the home side for taking advantage.
Match Report by Jon Dews, pics by Sian Davies