Local rugby: Leicester Lions in excellent form
Leicester Lions continued their excellent National Two North home form as they kicked off 2013 with an emphatic 37-17 success against Dudley Kingswinford.
The result was a seventh league win in nine games at Westleigh Park and cemented Lions' place in the top seven.
The score fluctuated in the first half as Jon Boden's penalty was cancelled out by Jon Higgins for Dudley. Jack Gibbons then went over for Lions and Boden slotted the conversion.
Another Higgins penalty and a visiting try from Matthew Farrington put DK ahead, but Tom Williams crossed and Boden converted to put the home side 17-11 to the good.
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Two Higgins penalties ensured it was all square at the break but Lions had a rampant 11-minute spell in the second half.
They scored 20 points in that time as Boden converted a penalty try, Jon Lowden kicked a penalty and captain Gareth Collins helped himself to a brace.
Loughborough Students showed spirit after facing a 24-0 half-time deficit before eventually coming away with a 45-26 National One defeat at fourth-placed Esher.
A four-try second-half performance ensured Students took a point home, which was a fine effort in the circumstances. Forwards Matt Rogerson and Joe Atkinson got the ball rolling with fly-half Stuart Hall converting the first effort.
Although Esher scored three tries of their own between those scores to extend the lead to 46-12, wing Chris Kinloch and replacement Craig Holland went over in the closing stages to secure the bonus point.
There were National Three Midlands victories for South Leicester and Syston, but Hinckley lost 39-24 at Broadstreet. Third-placed South registered eight tries in their 48-22 thrashing of Scunthorpe, with Gareth Kerr producing a hat-trick. Connor Smith, Joe Glover, Luke Coltman, Simon Johnson and Chris Bale were also got on the scoresheet.
Fly-half Ian Smith was in superb form as Syston landed a crucial 40-12 win against basement boys Derby at Barkby Road. Smith ran in a try and kicked 20 points, while Warren Coles, Robert Booth and Wayne Brookes also scored as Syston picked up all five points on offer.
Devon Constant reached a landmark for Hinckley with his 20th try and Blaine Bonnin-Ward grabbed a brace.