Leicester eye double with English title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Leicester eye double with English title

17/05/2009 08:30:44 AM Comments (0)

Geordan Murphy led Leicester to the first leg of an English Premiership and European Cup double as they held off London Irish 10-9 in Saturday's play-off final here at Twickenham.

Leicester now head to Edinburgh on Saturday where they will face Irish province Leinster, the team of inspirational Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll, in the European Cup final as they bid to emulate their domestic and European doubles of 2001 and 2002.

They were made to work hard as the under-rated Irish pushed them to the limit until No.8 Jordan Crane's 62nd minute try sealed the match.

"It was hard work," said Ireland international Murphy. "We are going to have to raise our game next week."

Irish were in the game until Crane's intervention although the back-rower had blotted his copybook by being sin-binned just before halftime.

Irish took advantage of the extra man when Delon Armitage kicked a penalty nine minutes after the break but Leicester burst into life when Scott Hamilton went close.

Leicester's big-game mentality started to take hold in the final quarter.

Dan Hipkiss and Matt Smith were held up short and Ayoola Erinle also went close before Crane latched onto Smith's offload and unlocked the Irish defence.

Julien Dupuy's conversion put the Tigers in pole position and Irish were left chasing the match.

England fullback Armitage reduced the arrears with a penalty from the halfway line but two times European champions Leicester would not be denied.

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