Twickenham glory for Red Rose county

Lancashire celebrate with the trophy
Lancashire celebrate with the trophy

Lancashire retained their Bill Beaumont County Championship title in a seesaw final at Twickenham, where they defeated Hertfordshire 32-16.

Both counties scored two tries so it was the reliable boot of Sale FC and former Fylde fly-half Chris Johnson that saw the holders claim their 25th title.

Herts were first on the scoreboard with an early penalty, but Johnson soon replied in kind for the Red Rose.

Hertfordshire claimed the first try of the game, but it went 
unconverted, so three successful strikes by Johnson – a drop goal and two penalties – gave 
Lancashire a 12-8 lead at 
half-time.

The ding-dong struggle continued after the break with Hertfordshire back in front through their second unconverted try, a Johnson penalty edging the holders ahead again and their opponents responding once more with a successful penalty.

But Mark Nelson’s men pulled away in the final quarter, with Johnson taking his tally to 22 points through a further penalty and the conversions of Lancashire’s two tries, both by former Fylde players.

The first went to winger Anthony Bingham, going over in the same Twickenham corner where he scored in last year’s final.

Then replacement Steve Collins sealed the hard-fought victory with a late touchdown.