Luctonians showed their class in a hard-fought victory on the road at Hinckley, with a 29-32 bonus-point victory.

It was the first time in 15 years the men from Herefordshire had won at this ground, but they fully deserved the five points, after outscoring the hosts six tries to four.

On a topsy-turvy afternoon of scoring, where the lead exchanged hands on seven occasions, the black and whites had to comeback and win the game from decent deficits on two different occasions, having trailed 10-0 and then 29-22 with 20 minutes remaining, but showed a mental fortitude that possibly was lacking in the previous month, to go and get the result in the East Midlands.

It was the hosts who got the first score of the game, despite playing into the wind, as a quick tap penalty caught the visitors napping, and centre Rory Vowles went over for the first try of what would be a hat-trick for the Hinckley Number 12. He also added the conversion and a penalty four minutes later, for the hosts to hold a useful 10-0 advantage after 16 minutes.

Lucs roared back though with two tries in three minutes as first skipper Joe White forced his way over on 21 minutes, before Charlie Grimes finished off a long-range effort on Lucs next attack, following a break from the excellent Archie Benson. Tom Jones knocked over one conversion and Lucs held a two-point advantage.

That lead lasted all of two minutes as Vowles would go over again for an unconverted attempt, finishing off a 50 metre break by his centre partner Aaron Pope, before the theme of attacks dominating defences continued, as the lead changed back to Lucs once more, with Charlie Grimes scoring his second in the right hand corner, as Lucs recorded their third try from their third visit to the host’s 22. The men from Herefordshire lead 15-17 and this would be how it remained to the break.

The lead was extended seven minutes into the second period, as once more Lucs showed great efficiency in the opposition’s territory, and following a kick to the corner the trusty old driving maul went over, with Ben Link dotting down the first of two second half tries for 15-22 and a four try-bonus point secured.

But the hosts would land a sucker punch of their own, with a brace of tries in three minutes as first scrum half Ben Pointon scampered through a gap in the defence on 51 minutes to score a 50 metre effort, before a loose pass was intercepted by Vowles on 54 and he ran in from similar distance. With Vowles converting both to take his personal tally to 24 points, Hinckley lead 29-22, with just over a quarter of the game remaining.

However, the pendulum of the game would swing once more, and repeated indiscipline from the hosts, including a yellow card to their skipper Alex Salt, gave Lucs the opportunities to gain territory and then put Link over again, as well as reserve flanker Seb Robinson, for two driving maul tries to put Lucs 29-32 up with 15 minutes remaining.

Whilst Hinckley would miss a 45 metre shot at goal in the final five minutes, Lucs saw the remainder out with comfort as their 2nd place finish was confirmed with one game remaining, as Dings Crusaders won the title at home against Redruth.

The men from Mortimer Park will finish their campaign on Saturday 27th April, as they host bottom club Dudley Kingswinford, in what will likely be a celebration of the finest season the club has had in 76 years.

Luctonians Man of the Match
Charlie Grimes

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Picture credit: Hinckley RFC

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