Updated 22nd April: A round up of the latest rugby action from around the borough:
ONE MINUTE FROM GLORY: HEARTBREAK FOR LONG EATON:
Gary Sumpter reports for Erewash Sound SPORT:
Long Eaton hosted Goole Rugby Club on Saturday 15th April in the RFU National Vase Semi Final. The sun was shinning on a glorious West Park and over 600 people came to cheer 2 excellent sides.
A strong wind in the first half meant Long Eaton struggled to get out of their half and were under constant pressure from Goole, eventually taking a penalty from under the posts to give them a 3-0 lead. Long Eaton replied with tries from Oli Davidson and Matt Free, both coolly converted by Kyran Powell. 14-3 to Long Eaton after 35 minutes, however just before half time a break away from the Goole winger made the score 14-8 at half time.
The second half kept on saw the lead alternate between the teams. With 7 minutes to go Long Eaton were leading 20-16 but Goole pushed for the win and with 60 seconds to go they scored a converted try in the corner to give them a 4 point lead. Unfortunately for LERFC they could not regain possession to score - Goole winning 20-23.
This was a great showcase of local club rugby with 2 excellent teams giving their all. A nervous, exciting and action packed game was a credit to both clubs. A Big thank you to the local community who came to cheer us on and all the volunteers who made this a fantastic day.
This has been an excellent season for Long Eaton but the disappointment was clear to see. Long Eaton should be proud of their performance; making the last 4 of the cup in the country, Midlands Cup Champions and Midlands 4 East North Champions.
LERFC wish Goole all the best in the National Final at Twickenham on Sat 6th May.
Message from 1st XV Captain – Rob Cooke
Long Eaton 20 - Goole 23
It was either going to be the easiest or hardest match report to write. Sadly this time, it is the latter. I know having spoken to several of my teammates that this defeat will linger in the memory for some time and i know, myself included, will continue to replay aspects of the game in my head. However, this report will not focus on what could have been.
Goole, to their absolute credit, came with a very effective game plan and executed it well. What the 2 teams then served up was a cracking and entertaining game showcasing the thrills of quality community rugby can provide. Their last moment try was heartbreaking for us as it was elating for them. Sportsmanship is a key pillar for our club and we showed that in spades at the weekend and i know all of us will wish them well in the final. They were a great club to share the field and the bar with.
What i will say to my teammates is that; we will learn from this and come back stronger. Let's focus on the positives, as there are many. We are a far better side than we were at the start of the season and we have achieved so much, more than we first thought. This is just the beginning of the journey and more success will come.
To our supporters, volunteers, coaches, staff, friends and families - thank you. We simply could not ask for better. Your support throughout has been immense and we hope to continue to build on the success of this season, which we could not have done without you.
TOUCH RUGBY IN LONG EATON: Long Eaton Rugby Club are hosting Touch Rugby every Friday from 7:00pm at West Park in the town. The activities are for all ages and abilities, everyone is welcome to help get fit for free and enjoy some fun and laughter. To take part, just pop along or call Ian on 07977 581790 or Paul on 07986 870019.