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Glorious Lions to focus on promotion
4:30pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
PROUD skipper Stuart Doolittle says Stourbridge Lions will now focus on promotion after retaining the Midlands Senior Vase.
The Lions won the coveted trophy with a hard-fought 10-3 win over Old Leamingtonians at Stourton Park last Saturday.
Victory set up a National Vase semi-final date with Selby on March 30, where the winners will progress to the final at Twickenham.
But the Lions are also well-placed to win promotion from Midlands Three West (North) and Doolittle says this is where their priorities now lie.
He said: “Our target at the start of the season was to retain the Midlands Vase and win promotion.
“Obviously, we have a national semi-final to look forward to and it’s going to be a great day.
“To play at Twickenham would be incredible but is just a bonus.
“There is no way we will be resting players for league games.”
More than 300 fans roared the Lions to victory against workmanlike Old Leamingtonians.
At one stage it looked like being a cruise after Danny Cox and Doolittle had grabbed early tries but the visiting side came back strongly in the second-half, putting the hosts under almost constant pressure.
However, they were only able to muster a single penalty as the Lions held out.
Doolittle said: “It was definitely a tough game and we played some great defence.
“At times defending seemed to be pretty much all we did but in truth they never really looked like scoring.”
The skipper believes retaining the Vase was a greater achievement than winning it first time around.
He added: “If you look at the teams we have played you have to say it was tougher.
“We had no bye weeks this time around and we had to play away against some quality sides.
“Kesteven were unbeaten when we faced them and Stamford were top of their league.
“It really shows how we are coming on as a club.”
The Lions travel to Burntwood this Saturday.