The rugby union men’s twos took on Bishop Burton on Wednesday, one of many cup games across campus. Liz Tyler was at the Towers Pitch to watch the thriller which finished 34-22.
The sun was shining on Towers Rugby Pitch as the teams warmed up. Loughborough entered this thrilling cup-match hoping to defend their trophy; but Yorkshire boys Bishop Burton, second in the Northern 1A league, were not going to be pushovers. Loughborough had to work hard for their win.
Things kicked off well for Loughborough. With less than five minutes on the clock the outside-half had scored a penalty and converted full-back’s try. Loughborough dominated their opposition in the following minutes and an impressive run from within Loughborough’s own half saw the number 15 make it a double. The conversion made it 17-0 with only 15 minutes on the clock.
Bishop Burton tried to turn the tables and up the ante after Loughborough’s strong start but couldn’t convert their energy into a score. Instead, Loughborough turned over the ball and cleared it away, gaining a penalty seconds later which allowed them to go for the corner just metres from the try line. A rolling maul from the resulting lineout gave Loughborough their third try, and though they missed the conversion, Loughborough had a healthy lead of 22-0.
Bishop Burton upped the ante again from the restart: this time some clever hands and strong back-play led to the full-back going over out wide in the final minutes of the first half. The following conversion from the inside centre saw the point deficit reduced to 12.
Loughborough returned with another good run from Loughborough’s scrum-half, but the ball was lost before a score was made. Loughborough’s fly-half booted the ball off the pitch to end the first half with a solid lead for the home side.
As the match got re-started, Bishop Burton showed a strong resurgence and renewed energy. It was but a few minutes before their full-back scored his second; though the conversion was missed, their comeback was beginning. Just four minutes later Bishop Burton found themselves with a kickable penalty but missed, leaving the score at 22-15.
The away team’s attack was still in full flow; more strong moves lead to another try. The conversion saw the scores levelled at 22-22.
Loughborough, feeling the pressure, fought back to attack again. Deft hands and good movement saw the winger go over out wide. The missed conversion and following missed penalty left Loughborough still on edge with the deficit at just a score.
A strong scrum in Bishop Burton’s 22 left the openside flanker in the perfect position to stretch over the line, with the conversion giving Loughborough a more comfortable position entering the final minute. A sloppy pass from Bishop Burton saw the ball into touch to end the match.
This hard-fought contest ended in a good result for Loughborough 2nds, who were disappointed to draw against Manchester last week. Hopefully this win will give them the confidence to go back to league duty against Edinburgh and secure an away win next week.