SPORTSLINC

LINCOLN RUGBY: FIRST XV MATCH REPORT

Lincoln avenge Bakewell defeat with home win

LINCOLN 1ST XV 39
BAKEWELL 1ST XV 8
MIDLANDS THREE EAST (NORTH)

Lincoln avenged their only defeat of the season and preserved their unbeaten home league record following a 39-8 win over second-placed Bakewell.

The Derbyshire outfit beat the league champions back in December but tries from Will Scammell, James Kirk, Jacob Hardy, Jack McGill and man of the match Ben Sykes ensured it didn’t happen again.

The result also ensured that Harry Cowles’ last home game as captain ended on a high. It also meant that Bakewell’s promotion hopes will go down to the final game of the season. Bakewell are four points clear of third-placed Belper, who host Lincoln in their final game, but if they win their own match their promotion will be secure.

Lincoln produced some excellent defending inside the opening few minutes of the match with a big hit from Hardy helping the hosts to win back possession and it wasn’t long before they got on the scoresheet. After winning a lineout the ball went through the hands before Kirk collected the ball at speed to run in for a try. McGill added the extras.

Bakewell reduced the deficit to just four points when they slotted over a penalty soon after. But Lincoln soon restored their seven-point advantage as McGill successfully kicked a penalty after 17 minutes.

The visitors wasted the chance to get their first try of the game after a good scrum saw them stopped just metres from the try line. The ball was then shipped out wide but the Bakewell player dropped the ball.

Bakewell continued to put pressure on Lincoln whose defence held firm with another big hit from Hardy and a last-ditch tackle by Scammell stopping two decent attacks from the visitors. A superb tackle from Conor Morgan helped win possession back for Lincoln again as the home defence continued to keep Bakewell at bay.

Lincoln scored a superb team try four minutes before the break to give them some breathing space and a 15-3 lead. Charlie Clark received the ball following an offload in the tackle from Sykes before he in turn set up Cowles. The skipper then made decent yards before popping the ball out to Hardy who stepped his man to run in for a great try.

James Walker came off the bench at half-time to make his comeback before Lincoln increased their lead within five minutes of the restart. Lincoln produced more excellent defending to win the ball back before Scammell ran from halfway to score a try which McGill converted.

Bakewell went over for their only try of the match soon after but then lost a player to the sin bin with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Lincoln put the result beyond doubt when Cowles collected an offload from Laguna Fisiihoi before being tackled just short of the line. The ball was then shipped back out wide for McGill to score but the winger was unable to add the conversion.

Scammell ran from inside his own half and outpaced several opposition players to score his second try of the afternoon and McGill successfully added the extras.

There was still time in the closing minutes for Sykes to get the try his man of the match performance deserved. Kirk made a great break from inside his own half and shrugged off two tackles before offloading to McGill who set up Sykes to score and complete the rout.

POST MATCH COMMENTS
Captain Harry Cowles was delighted with the result after seeing his side claim their 11th win from 11 home league games this season.

“We did really well and soaked up their pressure,” said Cowles. “We did well in defence and managed to get the result.

“It was a really big win as everyone wanted to beat every team in the league and we have a 100% record at home.

“Bakewell are a good team, but we managed to figure out their game plan and adapt ours to suit.”

 Report by Joseph Verney

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