Durham Senior Men victorious over Leicestershire to win the league and claim their spot in Twickenham Final
Durham County Senior Men secure their spot at the Home of Rugby, Twickenham Stadium following their win over Leicestershire.
The Durham Men welcomed Leicestershire to the RFU 365 artificial grass pitch at Billingham for an exciting and fast paced game of rugby, ending 32-10 to the hosts.
One minute silence: Durham and Leicestershire aligned for a minutes silence in memory of Thomas Howard and Tom Baty.
Captain Peter Evans opened the scoring with the first of many points from his boot with a penalty in front of the posts to lead 3-0 in the eighth minute.
Just a few tackles, line breaks and off loads later, Leicestershire evened the score with a penalty through their fly half, Ricky Alley.
Taking back their lead, Durham’s Chris Wood tallied the first unconverted try on the board as he crossed over in the left hand corner to lead 8-3.
Durham began to find their feet going forward and demonstrated some great attacking play as their offloaded before contact, putting the visitors on the back foot.
At fly half, Evans controlled the game well with his boot relieving any pressure put on them in their half.
In the forward pack, Durham carried the ball well to allow the attacking line to reset at each play, to play their expansive game.
Down the left wing Sean Moloney added the last score before the break with an unstoppable try, breaking free of the defensive line, Evans conversion added security to lead 15-3 at half time.
Returning to the field, Durham maintained their posture and stuck at the task at hand as Conner Foley intercepted the visitors attack to run in under the posts for an easy converted try for Evans.
The visitors remained in the game despite the 22-3 deficit, forcing the Durham Men to be clinical in their defence to withstand their powerful forwards.
Durham’s final try was scored by Daniel Dixon with another bursting attack, finishing under the posts for Evans boot to add a further two points.
Leicestershire’s persistence and evident strengths finally made their mark on the board with a score from second row Chris Arnold, converted by Alley to trail 29-10.
Just moments before the final whistle, Captain Evans sailed his fifth and final ball between the posts with a penalty to see in a 32-10 victory.
Gus Miller, Durham County Senior Men Manager, said: “It was a hard fought game, as all three have been.
“But, it was a great game to conclude the championship, win the league and secure our spot at Head Quarters, with.
“Leicestershire were strong up front, with a tough pack but we stuck at the task and remained within our game plan to claim the victory.”
Durham Senior Men will hold their final training session on Thursday evening at Billingham RUFC ahead of Sunday’s match.
Miller added: “The players have come through the set up at all levels and their hard work has paid off.
“We would like to thank all the players, clubs and volunteers within the County that have contributed along the way.
“We would love as many supporters to come along and share this rare opportunity with us and see us step out at Twickenham Stadium.”
Durham Senior Men will play Warwickshire in the Division Two Final at Twickenham on Sunday May, 27 at 5.15pm.
The game will be broadcast live HERE, and if you are interested in tickets, please contact John Dove.
By Clarissa Murphy