Sunday 24th Feb played at Leicester Forest RFC – Match report by Adrian Taylor
What a great day for our final match of the season, down the M1 in fog, which cleared to give clear blue skies.
Playing on Leicester Forest’s all-weather pitch, the two teams produced probably the match of the season. At no point in the game were they separated by more than one score, in a game that ebbed and flowed each way.
Leics scored first from a well taken line out 5m out driving over the line. 7-0
Ethan Heath-Drury soon equalised gathering a ball chipped through in attack. 7-7
A good line out platform again proved key for Leics who launched their backs from it, with their winger scoring in the corner. 12-7
NLD then broke in open play with backs and forwards combining to set up a ruck near the Leics try line and the NLD 9, Harry Clough sniped off the ruck to score 12-14
NLD were unlucky not score when the pack drove towards the Leics line and touch down but the Assistant referee spotted a forward pass in the build up.
Leics again used their line out to good effect and, peeling off the back of a well set up maul, they scored once more. 17-14
Just before half-time Leics gave away a penalty almost in front of their posts and Tom Wigglesworth dually slotted in over to equalise. 17-17 at the Half.
The second half saw the NLD pack begin to dominate in the scrum and the Leics 9 going backwards managed to dig the ball out to again launch their backs who scored 24-17
Finally NLD got their line out drive fully working and from a 5m lineout following a high tackle that saw Tom Davies halted just short of scoring himself, Liam Cooling peeled over to score 24-24
With less than 10 mins to go, Leics kicked ahead into space, but Jack Taylor at full-back ran round to gather the ball, rather than finding the safety of touch he set off beating the Leics winger, before grubber kicking ahead, Harry Clough just got a toe on the ball before Leics could gather it and with Jack tackled off the ball it was left to Tom Davies to score a well deserved try next to the posts. 24-31.
With the clock running down Leics attacked off another line out and tried to gruuber kick through the NLD back line, but the ball richocheted off an NLD leg and just as they thought another chase was on to score, the Ref blew for a knock on in midfield by NLD.
Leics kept up the pressure and from their first scrappy lineout of the game managed to scrabble the ball first up the blind side before going open, and an excellent pass out of back of a hand saw the Leics winger in space. With only one man to beat he scored under the posts and Leics converted the try 31-31.