Midlands 3 East (North)
Belper RFC 1st XV 5pts
Lincoln RFC 33pts
IN the last home game of the season Belper welcomed second-placed Lincoln to the Strutts.
Belper had back their captain Tony England, who started at eight, for the first time in five months.
Also back in were centre Jack Hibbard and full-back Joe Blackwell.
The game started with a high tempo and kept pace throughout the match.
Belper had good early possession and field position but couldn’t make the most of the early pressure.
Lincoln had plenty of pace in their back line and exploited this with a good move from the base of the scrum.
The visiting eight broke who fed the back line for the winger to go in under the posts.
Despite chances Belper could not get their game plan working and put some early points on the board.
Simon Jones had an excellent game in defence and attack, stopping the big runners coming at him. Lincoln added two further tries in the half and wingers Tom Cross and Rich Scott were unlucky not to add points for Belper.
The second half again started well for Belper but in the space of a few minutes the visitors scored two tries to put the game out of sight.
In the last 25 minutes Belper showed their metal and determination by battling and fighting for everything.
Charlie Watson was again outstanding in the loose being backed up by Tom Shea and Merv Holmes.
The forwards were getting stuck in and battering the Lincoln line with good drives from Woodward,
Emslie, Mathews and York all being just held at bay. Belper introduced Jack Smith, Jack Blount and Warren Haywood into the fray and they got stuck in and showed why they should have perhaps started the game.
Haywood hit the rucks like a man possessed and giving Belper the edge.
Holmes and England stole the rucks and the Belper pressure eventually told when Jack Blount crashed over from a few yards out.
Best wishes and good luck go to Lincoln in their quest for promotion and Belper will look to help by winning the last game of the season away at Sleaford (3pm).