Luton RFC stand firm to defeat Belgrave

Aidan Kenny in action against Belgrave - pic:  Ian Nancollas
Aidan Kenny in action against Belgrave - pic: Ian Nancollas
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Luton gave their home fans something to cheer with a second successive win in Midlands Two East (South) at the weekend as they produced a great team performance to beat Belgrave 28-18.

Luton gave their home fans something to cheer with a second successive win in Midlands Two East (South) at the weekend as they produced a great team performance to beat Belgrave 28-18.

In a tight and keenly fought game, the home side’s superb defence saw them hold out for the four points.

The visitors were quickest out of the blocks and registered a well worked try for their left wing.

Trailing 5-0 Luton knew they had a game on their hands and rose to the challenge, asserting themselves through the forwards and capably marshalled by fly-half Rik Hobbs, the Newlands side came back strongly.

First Hobbs slotted a penalty into a strong head wind, before when the Leicester side saw yellow and were reduced to 14, Luton sensed the advantage, piling on the pressure.

From a line-out, Hobbs sent a beautifully weighted grubber kick which centre Aidan Kenny collected before going under the posts.

Hobbs added the conversion and Luton led 10-5.

Prop Tom Garner had to leave the field early with a broken wrist, as both sides exchanged penalties to leave the hosts 13-8 in front at the interval.

With the slope and the breeze now at their backs Luton got off to the perfect start.

Taking advantage of the conditions and with the words of coach Paul Alston - to kick at goal - ringing in his ears, Hobbs slotted a long range penalty.

Luton then went down to 14 with replacement Steve Allen sent to the bin for a high tackle.

However, they held firm with some brave tackling meaning they conceded just one penalty before Allen returned to the field.

Back at full strength Luton took control of the game in the last 20 minutes.

Kicking to the corners, Hobbs forced Belgrave back as from a line-out and rolling maul the pack crashed over the line with flank forward Ryan Staff coming up with the ball.

Hobbs completed a man of the match performance by adding a difficult conversion to make it 23-11.

With time running out Belgrave ran the ball from deep, but a Ryan Shepherd turnover and strong charge from Allen, saw full-back David Hamm over in the corner.

There was just enough time for the visitors to get a consolation try before the final whistle as Luton hung on to win 28-18.

First team manager Steve Evans said: “The work the team is putting into training under the guidance of coaches Paul Alston and Nick Rhodes is translating into passionate and spirited performances on the pitch.

“It’s really good to see the lads of Luton enjoying their rugby again.”

Alston’s men can now enjoy a week off, third in the table, before travelling north to Vipers in a fortnight.