April 29, 2019 7.53 am This story is over 31 months old

Rugby Preview: Lincoln ready for cup final showdown

County Cup Finals Day will be held on May 6

Lincoln’s 1st XV captain Leigh Dearden is relishing leading his side into Bank Holiday Monday’s Lincolnshire County Cup Final against Stamford.

County Cup Finals Day 2019 will be held at Lincoln Rugby Club on Lodge Lane in Nettleham on Monday, May 6 with three matches of rugby to enjoy.

The first match will see North Hykeham take on Grimsby at 11am. The Junior Cup Final follows between Lincoln Colts and Kesteven before Lincoln’s first team take on Stamford in the main event.

Lincoln and Stamford have each won one of their previous two meetings. In January 2019 Lincoln suffered a disappointing 55-19 defeat at Stamford in the quarter final of the NLD Shield.

However, the last time the teams met in the County Cup Lincoln claimed an impressive 50-21 away win in February 2017.

Just look what the victory over Long Eaton means to Lincoln’s 1st XV captain Leigh Dearden. Photo: Joseph Verney

Dearden said: “I’m very proud to be entering a second County Cup final for Lincoln. I am looking forward to playing Stamford. I haven’t had the pleasure of playing them for years as through injury I wasn’t able to play in the previous fixture.

“I hear by all reports they are a tough opposition and that’s what Lincoln enjoy. I’m also extremely proud to say that on the same day our Colts are also playing. We’d love to watch our Colts do us proud.”

Lincoln ended the league season in seventh position with Dearden adding: “I’m happy with the league position although we could easily have achieved higher, but that’s what next season is for. We are now a better, tighter, stronger team club and set of friends for it.”

Stamford 1st XV vice captain Gareth Ramsden, captain Robbie Smith and head coach Matt Albinson.

Stamford’s 1st XV captain Robbie Smith is hoping to help his side end their season on a high.

He said: “Having beaten Lincoln earlier in the season we are expecting a much different and tougher side at the final.

“We know we will need to be at the top of our game and will be looking to put on a performance to end our season on a high for ourselves and our coach Matt Albinson having just missed out on promotion this year.

“Winning the cup will put us in the right direction for next season where we will be looking to attract new talent and go a step further and win the league.”

Stamford head coach Matt Albinson added: “The boys are champing at the bit to get back out there one more time this season and rubber stamp what has been a very successful season, where we have developed a fantastic squad of players who can go on to greater things over the coming seasons.”


North Hykeham after their victory away at East Retford. Photo: Faye Doyle-Thomas

North Hykeham 1st XV captain Paul Budden is urging his side to prove “we are the team to beat in this cup”.

He said: “We finished the league season how we started and managed to secure a big win (46-5 victory at East Retford).

North Hykeham’s 1st XV captain Paul Budden in action against East Retford. Photo: Neil Sturge

“Myself and the lads are looking forward to proving we are the team to beat in this cup.

“It’s going to be a tough game as Grimsby were deservedly promoted, but for this season we are 1-1 on games so it’s more than just a cup game for us. Bring on the final.”

Grimsby after winning the Midlands Four East (North) title. Photo: Jo Moore

Grimsby finished the league season as champions of Midlands Four East (North) and their head coach Tom Roberts is also expected an exciting final.

Tom said: “Firstly congratulations to Hykeham on getting to the final. I’m expecting a fast paced exciting game with both teams aiming to win.

Grimsby’s 1st XV head coach Tom Roberts.

“Personally I don’t get excited, we just have to train hard and think about the potential outcomes in the match.

“I’ve told the team not to think about the double. We just need to stick to our game plan and focus on our individual performances. It’s going to be a good final.”


Lincoln Colts after their tour game against St Austell.

Lincoln’s Colts won their group, including a victory over Kesteven, to advance to the semi-final.

Lincoln then secured their place in the final with a narrow 10-7 win over Spalding.

Lincoln Colts head coach Jason Dark said: “We will play our rivals Kesteven who are a very good side and will certainly be tough opponents.”

Kesteven Colts team photo.

Kesteven’s Colts team is made of players from a mixture of schools and colleges around the Grantham area.

After a successful year of rugby the squad secured a place in the final much to the delight of their head coach Andrew Singer.

Singer said: “Many of the older boys are already engaging in senior rugby – one of the squad captained and played for Under-18 England Counties in Ireland.

“This final will be their third consecutive final and we hope the game will be both enjoyable and rewarding.”


Scunthorpe’s 2nd XV – The Stags. Photo: Bill & Maria Rhoades

Scunthorpe’s 2nd XV (the Stags) lost the Yorkshire Merit League Cup Final after a narrow 24-20 defeat at Sandal.

Tim Dunk, Dave Ward and Jack Brunt score Scunthorpe’s tries with Jake Goodison adding one conversion and a penalty.

The Stags ironically beat Sandal to the league title earlier this month, but must now wait on the Yorkshire RFU’s decision to determine which division they will play in next season.

Bourne in action during their NLD Plate Final win against Ashfield. Photo: Alan Hancock

Bourne beat Ashfield 14-7 in the NLD Plate Final. Stamford College Old Boys lost the NLD Vase Final 51-0 against Meden Vale.

Sleaford Ladies and Amber Valley pose for a team photo after their match. Photo: Shaun Parkes/Sparx Photography

Sleaford Ladies claimed a 60-17 victory over Amber Valley, beating their opponents for the first time in three years.

Karolina Kacirkova, Nicki Eden-Smith, Rachell Cozens grabbed two tries apiece for Sleaford. Elloise Messam, Becca Louise, Sam Olliver and Sarah Taylor each scored one try. Amy Woodford added four conversions with Eden-Smith kicking one.

Lincoln Ladies captain Clare Brown and Grimsby Lynx Ladies forward Kathryn Turner representing NLD.

Lincoln Ladies captain Clare Brown and Grimsby Lynx Ladies forward Kathryn Turner featured for NLD on Sunday in a 37-24 win away against Oxfordshire.

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