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Big night at Welford Road for County Cup clubs

Syston and Lutterworth celebrated County Cup victories at Welford Road on Tuesday evening.

The Leicestershire RU senior men’s final was won by Syston, scoring 11 tries in a 73-12 triumph over Belgrave, while Lutterworth successfully defended their colts’ title with victory over Market Harborough.

Two tries from centre Jay Rudkin put Syston in control of their final, scoring the first after a break from full-back Ian Smith and then latching on to a pass from fly-half Laurie Harries as they took a 12-point lead in the opening quarter.

Smith added a third, running a fine line on to another flat pass to dot down, before hooker Craig Lockington finished from a forward drive as the lead reached 26-0 at half-time with Harries kicking the remaining points.

No8 Sam Harrison grabbed the first points of the second period, breaking the Belgrave defensive line to run in from 25 metres, and Lockington quickly added his second of the evening from another attacking lineout, with Harries adding the conversion before the hooker completed his hat-trick as he got on the end of another drive.

Belgrave, in their first County Final appearance for many years, got on the board with a score from prop Tom Ball, converted by skipper Kevin Curtis, before Smith brought up the half-century for Syston with an intercept try from his own 22.

From the restart, Harrison ran in his second, but Belgrave were not finished as prop Patrick Thomson scored in the left-hand corner.

There was still time, though, for Harrison to wriggle free for his hat-trick score and finally a run-in for replacement Alex Keyworth as Syston celebrated regaining the County title and skipper Joe Lorriman accepted the new trophy named in honour of former County stalwart Mike Wilson from Leicestershire RU president Pauline Harding.

Lutterworth, winners in 2017, retained their colts’ crown with a 16-3 victory over Market Harborough.

The teams were level at 3-3 after half an hour, both showing their strength and determination in defence but unable to find a breakthrough in attack until Lutts wing Tom Westbury finished a swift counter-attack and give his side an 8-3 lead at the break.

A penalty early in the second half, kicked by Justin Trombas, stretched that advantage and then flanker George Chapman dived over after some good pressure on the Harborough line to make it 16-3 approaching the three-quarter mark.

Harborough, looking to set up a grandstand finish, enjoyed a good spell of pressure and possession in the closing stages, but couldn’t find a way through the Lutts defence.