Bromsgrove 22 Leicester Lions 25

FLY-HALF Matt Birch missed a penalty kick as Bromsgrove wasted a golden chance to end the Midlands Division One leader's winning run on Saturday.

Bromsgrove were minutes away from a victory and stalling the Lions' title party for another week, when the leaders grabbed eight late points to ensure the championship.

Birch then was unable to convert a penalty in blustery conditions which could have sealed a well deserved draw at Finstall Park.

Defeat was hard luck on Bromsgrove, who after a bad start had taken the game to the Lions.

The Boars went into the match without the influential Tom Churchill, but veteran Steve Philips was drafted into the front row.

The home side were rocked early on when the visitors roared into a 17-5 lead, with only Dan Eason replying with a try.

Bromsgrove turned the game around when Nick Copson touched down for a try converted by Birch.

Birch's searching kick over Leicester's defence allowed Richard Stockholm to break and set up Carl Bradley for a try.

Birch converted the try and then scored a penalty, as Bromsgrove edged into a slender lead.

However, with two minutes left it was Leicester who had the last laugh, when their hooker touched down and scored a penalty.

Birch was handed a difficult chance to tie the match in the last minute with a penalty kick into fierce winds, but put it just wide.

Bromsgrove face a difficult game away from home on Saturday when they take on Kettering.

Coach Dean Ball is wary of taking on a Kettering side determined to seal the second promotion spot.

He said: "We don't really want be playing a side with so much to aim for.

"But after the last few weeks we deserve some luck."

Defeat saw Bromsgrove drop to fifth from bottom.

* The Boars still have a two point lead over Derby after the East Midlands side had two points deducted for using an ineligible player.

Ball said: "The deduction gives us some welcome breathing space."