Lions roar into next round of Junior Vase

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Matt Dunster scores a try for Claverdon in the emphatic victory over Brackley. Photo: Will Barnes

RUGBY UNION

CLAVERDON breezed into the next round of the RFU Junior Vase with a comfortable 38-3 success over visiting Brackley on Saturday.

The Lions started with the sun in their eyes and playing up the slight slope of the pitch, and after piling on the pressure they were given a penalty kick in front of the sticks, which was slotted over by James Williams for 3-0.

However, the visitors hit back with a penalty of their own to level the scores.

With half-time looming, the Lions knew they needed another score and that is exactly what they did when Luke Allsopp popped the ball over to Colin Marklew, who found himself scoring in the corner for 8-3.

It did not take long for the Lions to extend their advantage after the break when Brackley conceded another penalty and Williams once again duly obliged to kick the three points.

With the restart bouncing into touch just the right side of the 10m line, Claverdon had to be smart and the ball was eventually worked out to James Gibney, who glided through the Brackley defence to run away to the corner for his first try of the season to put the Lions 16-3 ahead.

Claverdon’s Ed Smith looks for support. Photo: Will Barnes

Claverdon continued to pin Brackley in their own half with solid defence across the field and strong work at the breakdown from Ed Smith gave Claverdon a penalty just side of the posts to extend their advantage to 19-3.

The restart gave the Lions a scrum on the halfway line and strong carries from Tom Hudson and Jack Yates caused problems for the Brackley defence.

With the ball then shipped out to the backs, Matt Dunster cut a hard line to weave his way through and get on the scoresheet to add another five points to the scoreboard.

From the restart the Lions went on the attack once more and after good work by Hudson, the ball was passed to Allsopp, who hit a hole in the Brackley defence at pace to go under the posts for a converted try.

With the final whistle looming, there was still time for Claverdon to get another converted try, this time a darting run by Smith saw him break free and score under the posts to cap off a fantastic display.

The Lions return to Midlands Four West (South) action on Saturday when they make the trip to Tenbury (3pm kick-off).

Claverdon and Brackley scrum down. Photo: Will Barnes