Title glory for Lancashire
Lancashire 19, Cornwall 8
Lancashire are crowned the kings – and queens – of English county rugby.
While the men were coming from behind to beat Cornwall 19-8 at Twickenham, the women were doing the county proud too.
To make it a Red Letter Day, Lancashire ladies travelled to Richmond FC where they beat Surray 25-13 to make it an unprecedented double, getting revenge for defeat in last season’s decider.
It had not looked so good for the Lancashire men after a poor first half at Twickenham, in which they trailed 8-0 thanks to a George Jones try and a penalty by Matt Shepherd.
But the transformation could hardly have been more complete in what was a one-sided second half in which the Trelawny’s Army in the Twickenham crowd were stunned to silence.
Lancashire scored three tries in the space of 15 minutes to swing the match totally in their favour.
Winger Anthony Bingham showed speed and strength to score a pearler of a try down the left wing, goaled by Chris Johnson.
Then hooker Tom Burtonwood burrowed his way over for a touchdown.
Man-of-the-match Scott Armstrong, the Fylde winger who is switching allegiance to Kirby Lonsdale, crossed for a converted touchdown,
It was a memorable day for Preston Grasshoppers’ pair Lewis Allen and Pete Altham, who forgot the pain of relegation to play their part in a true 22-man team effort.
Lancashire: Allen (Preston Grasshoppers) Armstrong, Briers, S Rawlings, Bingham (Fylde) Johnson, Stelmaszek (Sale FC) Birchall (Sale FC) Burtonwood, Lewis (Fylde) Birtwell (Sedgley Park) Tomlinson (Rossendale) Goodman (Sedgley Park) Stewart (Fylde) Ailes (Sale FC). Replacements: Altham (Preston) Matthews (Sedgley Park) Griffiths, Smith, Wilkinson (Fylde) Davies (Sale FC) Collins (Sedgley Park).