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Longlevens Rugby Club are closing in on Twickenham

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 04, 2014

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LONGLEVENS are two games from Twickenham after a tremendous victory in the South West Counties Final of the National Junior Vase.

They will now host Marlborough, who have won all 15 of their games in Dorset and Wilts Two North, in the South West Division final on Saturday, February 21.

Marlborough booked their place with a 17-0 home win over Abingdon.

Longlevens travelled to stormy Cornwall on Friday night with their fingers crossed, hoping the match would be on.

However on match day the sun was out and the pitch was just playable thanks to some hard work by the home team’s groundstaff.

Things didn't get off to a good start for Longlevens when scrum-half Mike Hagan was yellow-carded following a dispute at the ruck.

However, Longlevens took the lead following a decent field position and following a fine break by Jake Kitson he set up winger Harry Yorke to outstrip the home defence. Full-back Jack Beck converted the extras

Liskeard were quick to counter and with advantage they worked an overlap blind and their number eight avoided the cover tacklers.

With half-time closing the unbeaten Cornwall One leaders scored again following a robust driving maul after Longlevens had kept them at bay following some great defence by Matt Lodge, Steve Davis and Josh Lyons.

Longlevens had the wind at the backs after the break and coupled with their superior fitness they were able to blow the home side away in 10 exceptional minutes which saw them score 17 unanswered points.

Hagan slotted a penalty to start the scoreboard rolling, before he off loaded to Kitson who broke the defensive link to feed supporting flanker Andrew Royce who pinned his ears back and made the line from 30 metres out.

With confidence oozing, Longlevens set up quick phase play and went wide to their pacey backs and centre Tom Griffith continued his impressive form as he weaved his way through the defence to score.

Yorke wasn't to be outshone and following further wide play marshalled by fly-half Craig Barden, Yorke outstripped five covering tacklers as he exploded down the touchline from his own 22.

With the home crowd now silenced, Longlevens put the game to bed when Barden found a gap in the flagging defence and unselfishly feed Griffiths to dive over under the posts. Hagan converted to give him a 100 per cent kicking record with five conversions and a penalty.

Longlevens had further opportunities with Eddie Cross missing out narrowly as the ball failed to sit up following a loose kick and chase.

Liskeard threw everything they had into the closing stages and despite some robust defence from the likes of Gavin Stokes and captain Jed Jones they finally crossed for a consolation try.

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