Lions hold on against Earlsdon to stay on top

Wes Hallam scored the winning try for Banbury Lions
Wes Hallam scored the winning try for Banbury Lions

Leaders Banbury Lions held on for a hard-fought 11-10 victory over Earlsdon in the Warwickshire Second XV League.

Lions boasted a strong pack but were missing key players in the backs. Conner Triggs and Andrew Mawle stepped up to fill in at scrum-half and fly-half respectively.

Lions squandered an early run of position and gave away a simple try. They enjoyed plenty of possession and territory but failed to convert that into points.

Short of a dedicated place kicker, Stephen Potter stepped up and, after missing two kicks, landed two more.

Lions had their chances, the best came when Andrew Mawle set up flanker Wes Hallam who was outpaced by the opposition to the line.

Rory Dymond came on at prop after the restart and added some real pressure during scrum time and Lions began to turn the screw at the set-piece. Earlsdon struggled to get continued possession thanks to a newly-motivated forward pack.

That pressure resulted in a series of scrums in the 22 and, following a huge push on the five metre line, Earlsdon tried to kick to touch but Hallam charged it down to give Lions an 11-6 lead.

Sam Parke was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle and with the last play of the game Earlsdon went over the line. But the conversion fell short and Lions were home and dry.