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Loughborough RUFC 22 Lichfield RUFC 29

Lichfield RUFC are one game away from playing in the Regional Final of the National Cup at the Ricoh Arena after beating Loughborough RUFC in the quarter-finals.

The victory also means that another three wins in the competition could see the Myrtle Greens playing in the National Final at Twickenham

The ground was heavy underfoot so Lichfield’s free flowing game needed to be adjusted to suit the conditions.

The size of Lichfields task was put into perspective when, in the seventh minute, Loughborough scored a fine try to take a 5-0 lead.

Lichfield’s forwards were gaining control at the set piece and the pressure told in the 13th minute when Greg Massey punished a Loughborough infringement to convert a fine penalty and reduce the deficit to 5-3.

Two minutes later, with Lichfield in the ascendancy, Gareth Brear rounded off a fine move in style to score in the corner, Massey converting and the visitors were in front 10-5.

Loughborough remained threatening and were looking to move the ball at every opportunity to avoid Lichfield’s forwards taking a stranglehold on the game.

The Myrtle Greens defence was resolute and in the 26th minute they struck again, Mark Rose, ghosting into a hole to go over wide out and Lichfield were in front 15-5.

On the stroke of half time Greg Massey scored a fine individual try which he duly converted to put his side in complete control at 22-5.

The second half could not have started worse for Lichfield. Loughborough threw caution to the wind and stretched Lichfield’s defence from the first whistle. Great support play saw them score two tries in the first five minutes and they were right back in the game at 22-15.

Sam Baker, who had made numerous powerful forays into the heart of the Loughborough defence, then had a freak injury which resulted in eight stitches in the back of his calf. Jack Sporcic, back from injury took his place and with a minute of taking the field scored a fine opportunistic try, Massey slotting the conversion from the touchline and Lichfield were back in control at 29-15.

For the remaining 30 minutes, the game ebbed and flowed, with both sides struggling for continuity.

The final word went to Loughborough who scored at the death to narrow the margin to 29-22 but Lichfield had secured a fine win.

Lichfield: Taylor, Gabbitass, Bassett (c), Hicks, Squire, Burton, Smith, Thompson; W Cotterhill, L Massey, Baker, Adams, G Massey, Brear, Rose. Subs: Sowden, Axton, Butler and Sporcic.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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