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Double celebration for South Leicester

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South Leicester clinched a County Cup double in the Marsh & Co finals at Welford Road on Wednesday evening.

And there was drama in both the Colts and Men’s finals with the winning points coming in the closing minutes of each game.

An injury-time penalty by fly-half Byron Measures sealed a 10-7 victory over Market Bosworth in the Colts final.

Bosworth had taken a 7-0 lead with a try from fly-half Nick Bates, converted by Chris Harding, in only the second minute. But lock Oliver Speller touched down for South from a catch and drive, and skipper Oliver Mills landed a conversion from the touchline to level the scores before half-time.

Bosworth enjoyed good spells of possession in the second half but, after Measures had hit the crossbar with a late long-range drop goal attempt, he held his nerve to kick the match-winning penalty in the last action of the match.

In the senior final, South turned the tables on Midlands One champions Loughborough Students to secure the County Cup double, coming back from 15-3 down to win 20-18.

South fly-half Mark Lord broke the deadlock with the first penalty of the game after half an hour, only for counterpart Steve Collins to reply in similar fashion just minutes later.

The opening try came for the Students after 45 minutes, wing Andy Wright superbly picking up a clearance on halfway and bursting through the covering defence to score. Collins added the conversion and the lead soon became 12 points when some neat passing along the line provided the space for No8 Mike McFarlane to score on the right.

South Leicester, though, fought their way back into the game when wing Gaz Nicholson emerged from under a pile of bodies at a catch and drive to claim a try and Lord converted to bring them back to within one score.

As the game entered its last five minutes, prop Mark Bayley scored from another drive to level the match at 15-15 and Lord landed a superb conversion from the right touchline to give South Leicester the lead for the first time.

South’s celebrations were cut short when a penalty on the right gave Students the chance to regain the lead in the 78th minute, Collins striking the ball firmly for what seemed to be the match-winning kick.

But less than two minutes later it was the Students on the receiving end when South’s forwards gained control and the ball came back for the impressive Lord to strike a towering drop goal to win the game and seal a memorable evening for the club.

Skipper Ashley Stephens led the team to accept the County Cup from Alan Marsh of sponsors March & Co and Leicestershire RU president Ken Palfreyman.