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Ellesmere Division 1 Final
Lincoln is the Ellesmere champion for 2010 with a hard-fought 14-9 win against Burnham in the Coleman Shield final recently.
The red and blacks were favourites going into the final although Burnham had been the Cinderella team of the competition and were tipped to win by many pundits.
“We knew that Burnham was a good side,” Lincoln co-coach James Jowsey says. “Where we are fit for a club team, they are paid to be fit and so we knew that we had to play structured rugby and try and wear them down.”
The focus for Lincoln going into the match was the three ‘Cs’: commitment, composure and communication. “It was also important that our defence was top-notch.”
As it turned out, each of these factors was crucial for Lincoln as Burnham threw everything at them. The red and blacks led 8-0 at the break. “We were confident and happy at half-time,” James says, “although Burnham is not the sort of side who you can relax against.”
A key to Lincoln’s second half performance was their scrambling defence, helped no end by the experience and composure of the likes of Matt Lowe, Jason Pietzner and Dale Eathorne. “The last few minutes were tense,” Jason says, “although we missed a penalty which would have extended our lead and given us some breathing space.”
James says that with any final there were a number of ebbs and flows and that the important thing “was how we reacted to these”. Fortunately the experience of finals rugby within the Lincoln side proved to be invaluable.
When the final whistle sounded Lincoln was ahead 14-9. It was a match they had deserved to win, although the win had been hard-fought and similar in many respects to Lincoln’s win in the Coleman Shield final last season against Darfield at Lincoln.
“It was more a feeling of relief at the end,” James says, “that we had managed to achieve our goal. Still, it was an amazing feeling to have won another Shield.”
The only blot on the day was the injury to prop Joe Moody (Lincoln’s only try-scorer) who has damaged both AC joints which has subsequently ruled him out of the Canterbury Country programme this season.
James says that the Coleman Shield win was celebrated long and hard on “Super Sunday”. There is no talk of the retirement – from the players at least.
“I am not sure whether I will be coaching next season,” James says. “I would certainly like to although family and work commitments may make it difficult.
“My wife also has work commitments and so with a young family it makes committing to a long club season difficult. A representative season may work better for me, although we will see.”
James says that if he does not return then it is likely that his co-coach Daryl Petheram will take over. “I have had four seasons with Lincoln (one as a player and three as a coach) and I have enjoyed what has been a very successful period for the club.”
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