Stewarts & Lloyds’ cup success is reward for the whole club

S&L are Midlands Senior Vase champions after their 28-15 win over Pershore
S&L are Midlands Senior Vase champions after their 28-15 win over Pershore

Stewarts & Lloyds are the Midlands Senior Vase champions.

The Corby club returned from Worcestershire having beaten Pershore 28-15 to claim a regional crown for the first time in their history.

Now, as well as celebrating their newly-secured silverware, they can look forward to a national semi-final next month which could see them book a trip to Twickenham.

In the meantime, though, they are happy to have a trophy in the clubhouse and a weekend of good memories.

“It was a great day for the club,” team manager Gary Mitchell said.

“We took a load of supporters down there and everyone had an excellent time.

“To be fair to the lads in the team they had spoken before the game about it not just being for them but for everyone at the club.

“So it was good to have the committee, the chairman, the president, the lads that do the ground, the ladies that help out with the catering, everyone like that, all their to enjoy it.

“We’re very much a volunteer club, if that makes sense.

“People give up their time to make the club work so it makes it special when something like this comes along.

“We’re the Midlands champions – which is the first time this club has been able to say that.

“It’s a box ticked. No one can take that away from us now.”

Of the final itself, Mitchell believes his club were not at their best but were fully entitled to their spoils.

He added: “We didn’t play that well but we did enough.

“It was a proper cup final encounter.

“It was a tight game but a deserved result.

“There could be no hard-luck stories as we won it fair and square.

“And the try from Kyle Hill was fitting to win any final. It was length of the field effort that was superb.

“The hospitality there was excellent.

“We were made welcome and they had put up a marquee and had a band performing.

“It was a great occasion and we made sure we celebrated long into the night.”

S&L now face a trip to Yarnbury - a side from from just north of Leeds - for their national semi-final.

Their opponents, who play in Yorkshire Division Two, beat Ormskirk 31-0 to book their place in the country’s last four.

“We’re away again,” Mitchell said of the draw.

“It would have been nice to get a home draw.

“We’ve done the hard way this far, though, so we will just have try to do it again.

“It’s scheduled for Easter Saturday when we’re supposed to be on tour so we will have to sort something out about that.

“It gives us something else to look forward to in what is turning into a successful season.”