Lincoln’s 1st XV suffered their first defeat in eight matches in all competitions after losing 45-24 away against league leaders Long Eaton, despite scoring more points than their opponents in the second half.
Long Eaton have only lost one league game all season, but Lincoln knew they could cause their opponents problems as there was just one point between the sides when they met earlier this season (26-25 victory for the Derbyshire side in December).
Lincoln’s only points of the first half came via a penalty from Louie Cooke as they trailed 31-3 at the break.
The visitors, who were captained on the day by Owen Mitchinson, showed vast improvement and a lot more belief in the second half.
The renewed belief was rewarded with a brace of tries for powerful forward Matt Keeton and one for in-form youngster Ben Crowe, with Cooke adding all three conversions.
Long Eaton scored seven tries to show why they are top of the Midlands Two East (North) table.
Murray McConnell grabbed two tries and Ben Milton, Sam Cotter, Will Millet, Del Veenendaal and Gary Sumpter each scored one, while Louis Kendrick kicked five conversions.
Meanwhile, Lincoln prop Ben Crowe has been selected by NLD RFU to go forward to the Midlands Divisional Assessment Day on April 24. The squad also includes Scunthorpe’s Number Eight Jack Brunt.
Lincoln Ladies top scorer Jenna Bierton has been added to the NLD Womens Rugby 2022 Training Squad, which already includes her club team-mates Abigail Lee and Georgina Tomlinson.
Lincoln’s Under-18s player Izzy Vinter was honoured to be selected again to represent NLD in Peterborough.
She continued her development and gained valuable experience playing winger and scrum-half in matches against East Midlands and Eastern Counties.
It was also a successful weekend for many of Lincoln’s mini and junior sides.
Lincoln’s Under-15s showed great teamwork to beat Grimsby 29-17. Lincoln’s Under-13s also played Grimsby, winning 50-10.
Oli Lawton was among the scorers as Lincoln’s Under-14s won 51-5 away against Boston.
There was also a great morning of Mini Rugby for Lincoln and North Hykeham on Sunday.
All 38 kids in the Under-6s and Under-7s for both clubs had a great day at North Hykeham Rugby Club, with all the games played in an excellent spirit.
The mixed fixture saw a resurgence of Hykeham’s youth section with good neighbourly relations between the two clubs paving the way for a bright future.
Meanwhile, Grimsby’s Under-16s were in action against Hull Ionians in a 19-5 home defeat.
Grimsby refused to give up and battled hard throughout and their try was scored by Nikita Gusev.
Scunthorpe’s Under-16s claimed a comprehensive 48-3 victory against Glossop to progress through to the NLD Plate Final, where they will face Market Rasen on April 24.
Scunthorpe Women’s senior side were in league action on what proved to be a tough afternoon with a 64-12 defeat at Sandal.
Emily Wilby scored her first try for the club and Cassie Milestone also scored a five-pointer for Scunthorpe, with Jazz Clark adding one conversion.
Gainsborough’s Under-13s boys joined forces with Deepings and travelled to face Nottingham Corsairs, with the Lincolnshire side winning by nine tries to three.
In the Midlands Premier, Scunthorpe bounced back to winning ways with a dramatic 51-48 home victory against Bridgnorth.
Josh Lugsden grabbed four tries for Scunthorpe and Ben Hyde and Jack Brunt each scored one.
Josh Clarke kicked six conversions and two penalties while captain Tom Foster added a crucial drop goal.
Foster had added the drop goal with two minutes to go before Bridgnorth levelled the score with a late converted try. However, with the last play of the game Clarke slotted over a penalty to win the game for Scunthorpe.
In Midlands Two East (North),Jack Norton scored a try with the last play of the game as Market Rasen & Louth snatched a late 19-17 home victory against Coalville.
Tries from Marius Berger and Tom Stephens, which were both converted by Eddie Nicholls, saw the Lincolnshire side trail 17-14 with less than a minute to go, until Norton’s late intervention.
In Midlands Two East (South), it was another frustrating weekend for Stamford who are now without a league win in seven matches after a 31-13 home defeat against Bugbrooke.
In Midlands Three East (North), Jaron Cowern and Oli Lawman both scored a hat-trick of tries as Boston claimed an emphatic 78-0 win at home against East Retford.
Club captain Luke Fowler, Mathew Deane, Bruno Hall, Jack Wright, Rowan Mason, and Josh Cook also scored tries for the Lincolnshire side, while Wayne Harley kicked nine conversions.
George Whinney grabbed a brace of tries as third-placed Kesteven returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 25-17 home win against Belper.
Tom Wood also scored a try for the home side, while Liam Shields kicked two conversions and two penalties.
It was a difficult afternoon for Grimsby after a 66-12 home defeat against second-placed Birstall.
Grimsby refused to give up and battled hard throughout with tries from Ash Rendall-Tyrrell and Stu Saunders. Brad Treacher added one conversion.
In Midlands Three East (South), Gav Sharman, Ash Anker, Will Shields and Callum Lewis all scored tries as Spalding battled hard to a 24-15 home win against Bourne, which saw their opponents drop down one place in the table to third.
Conall Mason kicked two conversions for Spalding, who played the entire second half with an extra man after Bourne’s Jamie Colangelo was given a red card for a tackle.
Josh Lynch scored two tries for Bourne and Sam Evison kicked one conversion and a penalty.
In Midlands Four East (North), Brad Beresford crossed for four tries as league champions Gainsborough won 52-12 away against North Hykeham. The match was a league and cup double header – in the cup final Gainsborough will now play either Stamford College Old Boys or Sleaford.
Kieron Smythe, Richard Greenway, Ben Watson, and Jordan Beresford also scored tries for Gainsborough, while Tudor Roberts kicked six conversions.
James Husband scored both of North Hykeham’s tries and the home side’s remaining points were kicked by Dave Hill.
Dan McDaid grabbed a hat-trick of tries as Cleethorpes secured a hard-fought 54-31 win away against Ollerton.
Isaac Machon and Andy Shaw crossed for two tries apiece and Lloyd Jones scored one.
Joe Barker kicked four conversions and Rob Brice added three to complete the scoring for Cleethorpes.
Deepings were due to travel to play Peterborough Lions’ 2nd XV in a cup tie, but the match was called off by the opposition.