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Baildon celebrate narrow cup final victory over Harrow at Twickenham
Harrow RFC 3 Baildon RUFC 6
Two first-half penalties from Nick Lister were enough to ensure a hard-fought victory for Baildon in the RFU Junior Vase Final against Harrow at Twickenham.
Baildon dominated possession in the opening exchanges and grabbed their six points within 15 minutes through Lister but Harrow’s Gary Conroy halved the deficit with a penalty on 26 minutes before hooking another shot wide, with Lister twice off-target before the interval.
Yorkshire side Baildon lost flanker Danny Pollard to the sin-bin for an act of foul play seven minutes after the restart as the match became increasingly scrappy.
Harrow, champions of Herts/Middlesex Division Two, dominated with Pollard off the field and created the clearest scoring opportunities of the game.
But the Londoners could not convert pressure into points and Baildon, who plied their trade a level above their opponents in Yorkshire Division Three this season, cleared their lines.
Harrow full back Derek Byrne displayed some sublime running skills in an otherwise forward-orientated affair as his side sought a route back into the match.
And they were handed a golden opportunity to equalise six minutes from time when Baildon were penalised for a deliberate knock-on inside their own 22.
Conroy’s strike, however, cannoned agonisingly off the post and it proved to be Harrow’s last meaningful chance as the Yorkshiremen were left to celebrate victory.
Baildon captain James Dawson said: “Our defence won us the game today – they were superb, like a brick wall.
“Harrow threatened us but we stood strong and knocked them back. We had a few injuries to important players but we coped with that and deserved the win today.
“This win is so big for the club, it's the chance of a lifetime – I’m just so proud to be captain and to lift that trophy, it’s a phenomenal feeling.”