Blay­don’s fight­back not enough for vic­tory

Sunday Sun - - Rugby -

BLAY­DON LE­ICES­TER 13 17

ON a day when lit­tle went right for Blay­don, they got them­selves back into con­tention with a re­mark­able burst of scor­ing by winger Jack Ap­ple­ton.

He ran in two tries in two min­utes to make it 13-17 with 13 min­utes to play.

Sens­ing a vic­tory that for much of the game had seemed un­likely, they con­tin­ued to press but when the visi­tors got up-field, Blay­don at­tempted to counter from their 22, only to run into troubl.

They were pe­nalised, giv­ing James Mor­gan a sim­ple kick in front of the posts with which to ex­tend the Li­ons’ lead.

Go­ing into the fi­nal minute, Blay­don were awarded a penalty, which they kicked to the cor­ner in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a line-out drive. Sadly, they over­threw at the line-out and the chance was gone when they lost pos­ses­sion, an out­come that just about summed up a dis­ap­point­ing all-round per­for­mance.

Both sides had plenty of ball in their op­po­nents’ 22 in the first half but from all the ef­fort, only one scor­ing op­por­tu­nity was cre­ated and it fell to the Li­ons who made the most of it.

A Blay­don clear­ance had failed to find touch and was run straight back at them by Ian Smith, the Li­ons full-back. Af­ter three more play­ers had han­dled, the ball was shipped out to the un­marked James Wise, who crossed in the cor­ner, Mor­gan con­vert­ing.

Seven points adrift at the break, Blay­don pulled back three of them when Joel Matavasi landed a penalty, but the im­pe­tus was lost soon af­ter when the Li­ons, in a rare visit up-field, drove into the home 22. The maul went down, Blay­don were ad­judged to be guilty and a penalty try was awarded.

Now 11 points in ar­rears, Blay­don at last grabbed the ini­tia­tive, Matavasi putting out a high kick to the far cor­ner for Ap­ple­ton to gather in and storm over.

Two min­utes later and he was in again in sim­i­lar style but sig­nif­i­cantly nei­ther ef­fort was con­verted and at the end, only a los­ing bonus point had been achieved.

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