It was a weekend to remember for Lincoln Rugby Club as they celebrated a trio of cup final wins against Derbyshire opponents.
The normal season has been heavily disrupted by coronavirus over the last year, but the NLD Cup competition at least gave teams some summer rugby to enjoy.
The NLD Cup was split into several groups and culminated in multiple cup finals, while it is hoped that the regular league season will resume in September.
Louie Cooke kicked a crucial 12 points as Lincoln’s 1st XV lifted the NLD Cup despite a narrow 15-12 second leg defeat at home against Ilkeston on Saturday.
Lincoln went into the match with a 28-24 advantage from the away first leg thanks to tries from captain Lewis Wilson, Grant Cowe, Jack Noquet and Matt Keeton, as well as conversions from Richie Dixon and Cooke.
The second leg result means that Lincoln emerged victorious 40-39 on aggregate to finish as NLD Cup champions.
Lincoln’s 1st XV captain Lewis Wilson said: “I am proud of the boys from 1-22 who pulled on the shirt. We have been playing with a young squad so the future looks bright for the club.
“We managed the game well throughout and showed good grit in defence.”
Euan Kelly crossed for a hat-trick of tries as Lincoln Imps XV won 37-29 away against Long Eaton in the second leg of their NLD Cup Final.
Alex Brodrick, Tom Dowdy and Jack Miles grabbed one try apiece, with the latter also kicking over a penalty. Brodrick and Conor Milnes each kicked one conversion.
The second leg result meant that Lincoln ended with a 67-36 aggregate victory to become cup champions.
Lincoln Imps XV captain Luke Brodrick said: “I am so proud to have been a part of this team that have put in a huge shift through the competition and Saturday topped it all off.
“It was a very tough game, but we dug deep to come out on top. The boys deserved the win.”
On Sunday, Lincoln Ladies produced a great team performance to secure a 22-22 draw against Long Eaton and become the club’s third side to finish the weekend as cup champions.
Lynne Brooker-Brown, Kellie Pyart and Jenna Bierton all scored tries for Lincoln, with Emelia Twesigye adding two conversions and a penalty.
After winning the first leg in Derbyshire 22-10, the second leg result gave Lincoln Ladies a 44-32 aggregate victory and plenty to celebrate.
Lincoln Ladies captain Shannon Snell said: “I am so proud to be part of this team of such an amazing group of ladies. Yet again, everyone involved put in a huge shift in a very close game, including Long Eaton Ladies who did not make it easy and had come to our home ground hungry for the win.
“Months of preparation finally paid off and I’d like to thank our coaches Brian Kelly and George Reid for their perseverance and effort.”
Aaron Whitaker scored four tries as Kesteven’s 1st XV beat Bakewell 89-10 in their NLD Plate Final.
Dan Turner and Jake Eagle crossed for two tries apiece, while captain Gavin Purvis grabbed an impressive try from 30 yards out.
James Goodrich, Ben Hall and Henry Parker also got their names on the scoresheet in what was an emphatic victory for the Lincolnshire side.
Mark Munton crossed for two tries as North Hykeham’s 1st XV emerged as cup winners despite a 24-22 second leg defeat at Meden Vale.
Jordan Jolley and Sam Cooke grabbed a try apiece, while Adam Bird kicked one conversion and Rob Booth was named as Hykeham’s man-of-the-match.
The result gave North Hykeham a 49-43 aggregate win after two tries apiece from Gareth Alder-Woolf and Munton, and one from Danny Brown, had helped them to victory in the first leg.
Man-of-the-match Deano Deane grabbed a hat-trick of tries as Boston’s 1st XV claimed a 44-8 win against Nottingham Moderns to claim an NLD Cup title.
Lewis Eldin marked his last game as captain with a try in the final. Rowan Mason crossed for two tries and kicked three conversions. Zeph Chapman slotted over two penalties and one conversion.
The result gave Boston an impressive 70-22 aggregate win and outgoing captain Lewis Eldin, who will remain as part of the first team squad, said: “It’s been a pleasure to captain Boston to a promotion and cup win over the last few years. I look forward to next season.”
Gainsborough’s 1st XV also enjoyed a victorious cup final after a 43-27 win at Tupton.
Daniel Chadwick crossed for three tries, while vice captain Kieron Smythe, and brothers Jordan and Brad Beresford, each grabbed one.
Brad Beresford slotted over one conversion, while Tudor Roberts kicked four conversions and one penalty.
Sleaford battled hard in the second leg of their cup final away against East Retford, but unfortunately for the Lincolnshire side it ended in a 40-12 defeat (64-34 on aggregate).
Finn Sodeau and Euan Owen scored Sleaford’s tries and Tim O’Sullivan kicked one conversion.