County coup for Oakham ace Beanland
Officials at Oakham Rugby Club have hailed the efforts of James Beanland after he was selected for the Leicestershire county squad.
Beanland was part of the side that reached the last four of the County Championship where a 32-10 defeat to Durham denied Leicestershire a place in the final at Twickenham.
And, despite the defeat, Oakham club officials piled praise on Beanland and his exploits with the county side.
Director of rugby Andy Williamson enthused: “It was a great experience for James and he did both himself and his club proud with his performance in all three games.
“James showed he could more than hold his own with players representing teams three leagues above his current playing level at Oakham.”
President Steve Beanland added: “To be selected is an honour and privilege for a player and also for our club and the kudos of selection is only a good thing for all involved with Oakham.”
He had been originally selected for the Leicestershire Barbarians side along with fellow Oakham team-mate Ben Turnbull.
Beanland impressed with a three-try performance at second row for the Barbarians in their 62-10 victory over Staffordshire which prompted the selectors to elevate him to the full squad.
Having initially been selected on the bench, Beanland played the last 30 minutes and turned in an impressive performance as Leicestershire scored a penalty try in the dying minutes to record a narrow 33-29 victory at Burton-on-Trent.
Those exploits earned him a starting place for the next game against Cumbria where he played in the back row at blind side flank and produced another impressive performance after making tackles, hitting rucks and mauls and topping off a fine all-round game by scoring two tries as Leicestershire ran out comfortable 63-7 winners.
His all-round game against Cumbria cemented his place in the side and he was then selected for the semi-final against Durham on the 4G surface at Billingham.
The winners of the semi –final would progress to the final which was to be played at Twickenham and, with so much at stake, both sides knew they were in for a tough game.
In the event Durham proved to be a big, fast and well-drilled side and Leicestershire spent most of the game defending for their lives.
The defence had held out well with the score 8-3 to Durham when the hosts scored a controversial try in the final minutes of the half to stretch their lead to 15-3 at half-time.
The next score was vital but, after a bright start from Leicestershire during which they could not take their chances, Durham scored a breakaway try against the run of play which again stretched their lead.
Try as they may Leicestershire could not make inroads against the heavy tackling Durham side who ran out comfortable 32-10 winners.