Rugby

Updated 6th May: A round up of the latest rugby action from around the borough:

GET INVOLVED IN LOCAL RUGBY WITH LONG EATON RFC:  The amateur club with the professional attitude, league and Midlands Champions 2017, Long Eaton Rugby Club are seeking members to be part of the journey to the next promotion.  Officials are looking to add to the senior squad for the big challenge for next season.

Pre-season starts on June 6th at 7:00pm with sessions every Tuesday and Thursday.  Just turn up to take part or call Chris on 07999 494378 for top class facilities, top class coaching and top class rugby!

LERFC 2XV 17 - 22 Ashbourne 3XV
Gary Sumpter reports for Erewash Sound:
In reality, a lot of this match did not accurately reflect the quality and achievements of the second team this season (I expect due to a combination of the end of season, crowd, occasion and sunshine); but then again many parts of it did, so i will stick to describing them.

On finally waking up after 15 minutes, LERFC started to put some phase plays together and gain possession, the first real set ending up with a well taken 3 points by Paul Mayfield​.

Soon after Tom Jowett​ found his magic darts and found a marauding Arron Dughan​ who stepped and smashed his way through the Ashbourne lines to within meters of the line, unfortunately we were not able to build the sweetness and nothing further came from it... Half time 3 - 10

An animated half time chit-chat had the Long Eaton blues coming out firing, marching immediately up the park, winning a scrum and then executing a perfect scrum move which saw 2nd XV player for the season, Ryan Holden​ crashing in for the try.

The call of the bar then distracted a few players, and some lapses in concentration allowed Ashbourne in for another 2 scores.

Then it came, the coup-de-gras, the only way to finish the season.  With the final seconds ticking away and LERFC pressuring the Ashbourne line, Paul Mayfield takes a quick penalty and then popped it off to his, and everyone's, leader, mentor and hero Jay Ramsay​. Ramsay only needed the slightest gap created by a sweet dummy line by Tom Jowett to break for the line and at full stretch, slam the ball down for the final play of the year.

UNDEFEATED LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: 
Gary Sumpter reports for Erewash Sound SPORT:
Long Eaton Rugby Club played their final game of the season against Nottingham Moderns on a glorious West Park.

Both teams already knew they were promoted with Long Eaton as Champions and after last months Midlands Cup Final both teams knew it would be a battle. Long Eaton had not lost all season and were mentally prepared for the challenge ahead to ensure they remained unbeaten.

The game started with Moderns having a slight wind at their backs and they dominated the first 15 minutes, eventually taking the lead from a penalty in front of the posts. This woke LERFC up and they realised that if they could put some phases together that gaps began to appear. After some excellent movement by the backs and solid running from the forwards, the oldest man on the field, Gary Sumpter saw a gap to score under the posts from 30 yards out. Converted by Kyran Powell.

Long Eaton began to dominate the game from this point. Moderns still causing problems but LERFC were eventually able to pull away to be winning 21-6 at half time through tries from Oli Davidson and Sam Cotter.

The second half saw LERFC step up the pace and start to enjoy their rugby in front of the 175 strong crowd. Tries from Tommy Tucker, Kyron Powell, Dec Neary, another for Oli Davidson, and a total of 6 from 7 conversions from Kyran Powell gave Long Eaton their points.

A satisfying 47-6 win against the team second in the league. Man of the match Jimmy Browne. A man with close links to the club since birth, he has been a great coach, a true leader on the pitch, a great inspiration of a player and of a man. Unfortunately he is moving onto pastures knew next season. LERFC wish him well.

Long Eaton are not only undefeated league CHAMPIONS but they are RFU Vase Midlands CHAMPIONS and only a last minute try in the National Cup semi final prevented a visit to Twickenham. A very successful season for head coach, Matt Everard and his team.

A massive thank you to everyone involved in the club from the minis to the seniors, all the volunteers who spend endless hours making our club great, our sponsors, the RFU, Erewash Council and to the local community who have supported us throughout our successful season.

League table link (Midlands 4 East (North))

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.