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Scorpions Men take title, Rebels Women retain crown

A dramatic fightback from London Scorpions’ Men and a relentless 40 minutes from NQ Rebels’ Women saw them win their respective National Touch Series Division 1 titles at Old Leamingtonians RFC.

In the Men’s Final an unbeaten London Scorpions took on reigning champions, Old Wesley, who made the final despite losing two pool matches. The Dubliners certainly brought purpose to the West Midlands, beating England M40 and Nottingham Hoods to take them through to the match that mattered. For their part Scorpions remained as dominant as they had been in the pool stages, seeing off Invicta and London Eagles 1.

Scorpions took an early lead through Dom Tripp. But after that the next 10 minutes were cagy, with neither side able to cross the whitewash.

Darren Forster tied things up for Old Wesley with 12 minutes on the clock, before the Dubliners hit the front through James O’Donnell a minute later. O’Donnell grabbed a second later in the half, and with Lilian Guegan capitalising on some slow defence and Ben O’Connell latching onto a defence-splitting pass the 2023 champions had a two-try advantage going into the break.

5-3 became 6-3 two minutes into the second half courtesy of Kamil Shahabdeen, but all this did was prompt a fightback from Scorpions. A Tripp triple in the space of four minutes saw the lead evaporate, before Liam Halpenny gave Scorpions the lead and Stephen Troy landed the knockout blow.

There were still seven minutes to play, but the Londoners had the game in their control and while Foster replied for Old Wesley it was Scorpions who had the win and the title in their hands.

Scorpions’ women also made the Women’s Division 1 Final against NQ Rebels, and got onto the scoresheet first inside the opening 30 seconds thanks to Jill Sweeney. Scorpions had been the competition’s top scorers, winning all three pool matches – including beating NQ Rebels – and then seeing off Cheltenham and Nottingham Hoods in the knockouts. Rebels’ path to the final took them past London Eagles and Galaxy London.

Carly Wynne replied in Rebels’ first attack, and then the north west outfit took control. Wynne got two more on the wing, Nikki Wise scored through the link channel, Ellie Davidson created space for a score with a wrap play, Lydia Ticehurst punished some slow defending, and collectively these scores nullified Rachael Keane’s reply for Scorpions.

With a 6-2 lead at the break it was going to take a monumental collapse to spoil the Rebels’ day.

It did not materialise, instead Ticehurst and Wise both adding a second and Danielle Evans crossing to increase the lead to 9-2 in the first five minutes of the second half. Emily Irons and Zan Hudson (2) did get consolation scores for Scorpions, but it was too little, too late, Rebels running out 11-5 victors.

Chester Cheetahs Men and Old Wesley Women won their respective Division 2 titles, while Galaxy London 2 Men and Thames Valley Vikings Women lifted the Division 3 crowns.

CLICK HERE to see the Men's overall standings

CLICK HERE to see the Women's overall standings

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