Lincoln’s 1st XV endured frustration in their final away league game of the season with a 35-12 defeat at Loughborough.
When the two sides met in the reverse fixture back in December Lincoln won 24-22, but luck was not on their side in Leicestershire.
The frustrating result was compounded by a triple injury blow as George Pomfret (shoulder), Josh Pratt (dislocated thumb) and Ben Sykes (head) were all forced off for the visitors.
Loughborough crossed for two tries, and added a conversion and two penalties, to take an 18-0 lead in at the break.
The hosts added further scores to increase their lead to 35-0, but Lincoln refused to give up and crossed for two tries later in the second half.
Lincoln were forced to play the final 30 minutes of the match with 14 men when Sykes took a knock to the head. The referee decided Sykes was not allowed to continue and, with no remaining substitutes, Lincoln were left a player down.
Lincoln reduced the deficit when James Kirk broke through and raced 30 metres before offloading to Grant Cowe.
Cowe then carried the ball in and was tackled just short of the line before Matt Keeton bounced two players out of the way to score his seventh try of the season.
Lincoln cut the gap in the score further with a move starting from a scrum 80 metres out. Will Scammell exchanged passes with Matt Walker before sprinting clear for his 14th try of the season.
Dixon successfully slotted over the conversion, but it wasn’t enough to stop Lincoln’s three-match winning run in all competitions from coming to an end.
After the match Lincoln’s Malta international James Kirk, who was playing in his final league game for the club before moving away, said: “Gutted to be missing the game against Rasen, but I’m sure the boys will bring the intensity and get the result.
“I’m hoping to make an appearance in the county cup final as it would be great to end on a high.”
An early injury to Luke Brodrick left Lincoln’s 3rd XV a man down during their battling 62-12 defeat away against Keyworth’s first team.
Brodrick was forced off with a shoulder injury after just five minutes and, with no available substitutes, Lincoln had to play the remainder of the game with 14 men.
Lincoln’s tries came from Zeph Chapman and Harry Clarke with Brad Nixon adding one conversion.
After the match fly-half Nixon said: “It was a very tough match. Going down to 14 so early is always going to be tough, but the lads didn’t give up and played with pride. Everyone wishes Luke a speedy recovery.”
Andy Donnor, Darren Rorie and Chris Smith were among the try scorers as a Lincoln old boys side played an entertaining friendly against touring team Aylestone Athletic RFC at Longdales Park.
Ben Hart crossed for two tries as Lincoln’s Under-16s won the 2019 NLD Shield with a 20-10 victory over Mellish. Rauri Canti Brown and Joe Cline scored Lincoln’s other tries.
Coach Bob Slack praised captain Hart for leading by example all year and his coaching team of Tim Hartley, Bob Over and Lee Wright.
Youngsters from Lincoln Rugby Club (Under 6s, 8s, 10s and 12s) performed Flag Waver duties, parading a giant Leicester Tigers flag on the pitch before the Premiership side’s match against Exeter at Welford Road.
Lincoln Ladies duo Ruth Denham and Clare Brown represented NLD on Sunday in a 49-24 victory against East Midlands.
Lincoln’s 1st XV host local rivals Market Rasen & Louth in their final league game of the season on Saturday. Lincoln Imps XV travel to face West Bridgford.
Elsewhere in the county, leaders Scunthorpe took a step closer towards promotion with a 45-12 win over Bridgnorth. Will Harrison and Sam Morgan crossed for two tries with Ollie Cole, Jacob Hardy and Grant Elliott each scoring one. Paul Cook added five conversions.
In Midlands Two East (North) Market Rasen & Louth claimed a 27-17 home victory over Ilkeston thanks to two tries from Josh White. George Grant and Ben Young grabbed a try apiece with the latter adding two conversions and a penalty.
In Midlands Three East (South) Bourne won 22-12 at Rushden & Higham thanks to a try from Chris Greenwood, which Sam Evison converted. Evison also kicked five penalties. Stamford were awarded a home walkover against Biggleswade.
Dan Mackie crossed for a hat-trick of tries as Sleaford claimed a 46-7 win over Bakewell Mannerians in Midlands Three East (North). Dave Titmus, Sam Harris, Conor Bradley and Rob Titmus grabbed a try apiece with Mackie adding four conversions and a penalty. Spalding drew 31-31 against Ashfield.
Kesteven’s 1st XV lost 36-27 at league leaders Nottingham Casuals. Aaron Whittaker, Dan Turner, Gav Purvis and Harry Cox crossed for Kesteven’s tries with Ben Whinney adding two conversions and a penalty. Tom Wood, Ed Cole, Charlie Pirie and Josh Udom grabbed a try apiece as Kesteven’s 2nd XV won the Security Plus Pennant Group 2 League with a 20-12 win over Bingham.
Grimsby crossed for 19 tries to move top of Midlands Four East (North) with a thumping 117-5 win over Worksop.
Lewis Cartwright and Kieran Austin-Thomas grabbed five and four tries respectively. Evan Picking and Allan Oliver crossed for two tries apiece, while Pete Shaw, Mike Porter, John Mansfield, Colin Matthews, Tom Roberts and Kieron Moore each scored one.
Nathan Watson kicked six conversions with Brad Treacher and Cartwright adding three and two respectively.
Cleeethorpes kept up their slim hopes of promotion with a 39-17 victory at North Hykeham.
Full-back Joe Barker crossed for two tries with Andy Carruthers, Isaac Machon and Matty Searle each scoring one. Harry Lightfoot kicked four conversions and two penalties.
Jordan Jolley, Michael Wainwright and Mark Munton scored North Hykeham’s tries with Rob Booth adding one conversion.
Hykeham’s vice-captain Ross O’Loughlin helped the RAF Vultures beat the Navy Mariners 29-5.
Blayne Ford’s two tries helped North Hykeham’s 2nd XV to a 29-19 win over Gainsborough.
Robert Sturge, Chris Limming and Alex Morley crossed for Hykeham’s other tries with the latter adding two conversions.
Kierron Smyth crossed for a hat-trick as Gainsborough’s 1st XV moved off the bottom of the table with a 30-14 win at Meden Vale. Ben Watson also grabbed a try with Robbie Goodyear kicking Gainsborough’s remaining points.
Ben Whitwam scored two tries as Skegness claimed a 45-21 home win over Amber Valley. Captain Matthew Deane, Lewis Haigh, Nyle Chapman, Dan Halliday and Rikki Bovey grabbed a try apiece, with the latter kicking five conversions.
A brace of tries from Dan Piggins helped Boston to a 39-31 victory at Ollerton. Jaron Cowern and John Hummel both crossed for tries and a penalty try was also awarded for the visitors. Matt Bray kicked three conversions and two penalties.