Lutterworth prevail as old rivals clash in cup

Charlie Neale scored twice for Lutterworth as they overcame old rivals Market Harborough
Charlie Neale scored twice for Lutterworth as they overcame old rivals Market Harborough

Lutterworth came out on top when they met Old rivals Market Harborough at a showery Ashby Lane.

The sides hadn’t met since the 2015-16 season when Lutterworth were promoted to Midlands One so the chance to lock horns in the County Cup was a welcome one.

And, as Harborough came into the game joint-top of Midlands Two East (South), there were hopes for a close battle between the two sides.

However, it was Lutterworth who started the brighter and they never really let up.

Accurate passing and excellent running angles saw them cross the line first through winger Charlie Neale with just a few minutes on the clock.

Tom Vesty was next to add his name to the scoresheet after a well-worked set-piece from line-out.

Harborugh clinically punished some indiscipline from the home side to finish off a chance out wide after 20 minutes.

The respite for the visitors was brief, though, as the home side became rampant and looked to run the ball from all areas of the field.

Strong forward carries from George Turner, Josh Connor and John Kenward kept Lutterworth on the front foot throughout.

They ran in several first-half tries and went in at the break 39-8 to the good having been dominant in territory and possession and demonstrated far better finishing than in previous weeks.

Joe Sullivan, Josh Connor, Dan Jones and Blake Tressler all crossed the whitewash in a fruitful first half for the home side.

After the break, a refreshed looking Harborough scored first following powerful forward play in the Lutterworth 22.

At 39-15 and sensing a chance to fight back, the visitors continued to press with a spring in their step.

They forced the Lutterworth defence into a couple yellow cards for infringements in breakdown areas which left the home side with 14 men for 20 minutes of the half.

However, they resisted the pressure and on the hour-mark their dominance in power and pace started to break Harborough down.

Three more tries were to come – through Tressler, Hooper and Neale – as Lutterworth eased to victory at 58-15 and went through to the next round.

It is return to league action for both sides this weekend.

Lutterworth take the A605 to Oundle – a side who are now well settled at Level 6 having made a rapid rise in recent seasons.

It is an an encounter that will be extremely tough for Steve Lamb’s men.

Harborough will hope to continue their strong start in Midlands Two with victory from a home encounter with sixth-placed Bugbrooke.

The Northamptonshire side have won just one of their four matches on the road so far.