BILL BEAUMONT CUP
Eastern Counties 15
Diss’ Steve Hipwell followed up last weekend’s try with another for the Eastern Counties on Saturday — but once again he ended up on the losing side.
Eastern Counties were very competitive in the first half and for much of the second, yet the simple but effective direct style of the visitors took its toll on the team as the home team tired in the final quarter and were unable to keep Lancashire from scoring late tries.
After some brutal early exchanges where both teams clattered into each other, both defences being equal to the challenge, it was Lancashire who scored through their hooker Tom Burtonwood to take a 5-0 lead after 10 minutes of play.
Eastern Counties soon hit back, though, through the ever-present Hipwell of Diss, with Shelford’s Simon Hrbeck adding the extras to take a narrow lead.
In a see-saw opening 40 minutes of action, Lancashire regained the lead though a try from right wing Scott Armstrong, which was converted by Greg Smith and were on the attack again soon after, but a loose pass in Counties’ 22 was pounced on by Hrbeck, who raced almost the full length of the field to draw the game at 12-12.
He then added a penalty kick to his personally tally with a beautiful strike from 45 metres to push take a narrow 15-12 lead into half-time.
After the break Lancashire retook the lead, which they ended up keeping hold of until the full time whistle.
They first scored through a catch and drive from a lineout on the home team’s five-metre line to take the score to 19-15.
And that advantage was stretched when inside centre Scott Rawlings was on hand to dot down following a great run by left wing Anthony Bingham to push the lead out to 15-24 following a conversion by Smith.
Lancashire’s replacement prop Peter Altham was credited with the try from another catch and drive close to the home side’s line, converted by full-back Lewis Allen taking the score to 31-15.
The final score of the game came again through a try from the powerful Lancashire pack, which was converted by Allen, resulting in a final score of 38-15.