Appleton double in vain as the Lions cling on
Blaydon .......... 13 Leicester L ...... 17
LEICESTER Lions survived a late Blaydon fightback to hold on for a narrow victory.
In a game that finally sprang into life in the final quarter, the Lions built up a useful lead only to concede two tries in two minutes and in the end did well to hang on under pressure in the closing minutes.
There was plenty of action in both 22s in the first half but only one real scoring opportunity which fell to the visitors when their full-back Ian Smith ran back a poor Blaydon clearance.
Dan Martin and James Morgan took it on and switched direction to find the unmarked James Wise who touched down in the corner, Morgan adding the conversion to make it 0-7 at the break.
Joel Matavesi landed a penalty on 55 minutes for Blaydon but they fell further behind when they pulled down a driving maul to concede a penalty try and found themselves 11 points adrift.
Stirred into action, they were rewarded when winger Jack Appleton stormed over from an optimistic long pass.
Two minutes later he was in again in identical fashion, but crucially neither effort was converted.
With time running out, Blaydon attempted to counter from their own 22 but ran into trouble and were penalised, providing Morgan with a simple penalty in front of the posts to make it 13-17, a lead the Lions held to the end.