Ap­ple­ton dou­ble in vain as the Lions cling on

Blay­don .......... 13 Le­ices­ter L ...... 17

The Rugby Paper - - National League 2 North - ■ By JOHN BREN­NAN

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.

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