SPORTSLINC

RUGBY: LINCOLN CAUSE UPSET TO REACH COUNTY FINAL

STAMFORD 1ST XV 21
LINCOLN 1ST XV 50
LINCOLNSHIRE CUP SEMI-FINAL
BY JOSEPH VERNEY

Will Scammell and Conor Morgan crossed for two tries apiece as underdogs Lincoln booked their place in the Lincolnshire Cup Final with a 50-21 win at Stamford.

Josh Pratt, Jack Kinsey, Jacob Hardy and James Kirk also got their names on the scoresheet, while Jack McGill added five conversions.

Lincoln, who will now face Scunthorpe or Market Rasen in the final, knew they could be in for a tough afternoon against a side a league above them, but they showed no fear and more than deserved the victory.

Lincoln started brightly and nearly opened the scoring inside the first minute of the match, only for Jack Kinsey to be stopped just short of the line.

The visitors unfortunately lost Laguna Fisiihoi to injury just minutes later, but they recovered to score their first try of the afternoon soon after. Quick hands set up Pratt to run in for a try near the corner, which McGill converted.

Lincoln increased their advantage following a great team move as McGill made decent yards before being tackled deep in the opposition half. The ball was then worked back out wide and Adam Smith powered through a tackle before unselfishly offloading for Morgan to go over for a try.

The visitors continued to control the match for large spells and it wasn’t long before the next try. Captain Harry Cowles offloaded to Charlie Clark, who quickly passed the ball out to Scammell for the full-back to race in to score a try.

Stamford then had a decent spell of pressure in the Lincoln half, only for it to be halted by a big hit from Hardy that forced the hosts to lose possession.

Lincoln and Stamford each lost a player to the sin bin before the visitors added their fourth and one of the best tries of the match. Following a successful lineout the ball was shipped out wide to Morgan, who made great yards before offloading to McGill. The winger then produced a great pass to set up Scammell to run in for his second try of the game.

Stamford tried to respond, but each time they got near to the Lincoln line strong defence from the visitors kept them out.

Lincoln almost increased their lead before the break as great work from Anthony Jones released John Feeney, but the substituted dropped the ball over the line. But the visitors were still more than worthy of their commanding 24-0 lead at half-time.

There was better luck next time for the visitors as Lincoln moved further in front within three minutes of the restart. A good team move set up Morgan to dodge and weave his way through the home defence to score a great try, which McGill converted.

Stamford reduced the deficit with two converted tries following a good spell of pressure, but the hosts then lost a player to the sin bin for a high tackle.

Lincoln took advantage of the extra man and soon regained control with their sixth try of the afternoon. Kirk made decent yards before offloading to Hardy, who raced upfield on a great run before being stopped near the try-line. The ball was then worked back out wide for Kinsey to finish the move with a great try.

Stamford tried to respond and put pressure on the Lincoln line, only to drop the ball and allow Clark to kick and clear the danger.

Hardy ran from halfway to score a try and finish off a great team move and McGill added the extras.

Stamford scored a converted try near the corner, but it was Lincoln who ended the game on top. James Johnson Jnr, Matt Keeton and Kinsey were all stopped just short, but the hosts were unable to stop Kirk from powering over for a try. McGill successfully slotted over the conversion to complete a fine cup victory for Lincoln.

POST MATCH COMMENTS
Try scorer Will Scammell believes his side’s ability to cope better with the conditions was key to the win.

“When we warmed up we weren’t at the races, but we started the game well, helped by the wind, and scored some great tries early on,” said Scammell. “We knew not to be complacent as in the second half they would have the wind on their side.

“The difference was that we managed to score some tries against the wind when they failed.

“It’s nice to reach a final for the first time in years and we’ll give it our best shot.”

sportslinc@hotmail.com

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