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Harlequins beat Leicester Tigers in Aviva Premiership Final

Harlequins Captain lifts the trophy after victory over Leicester Tigers Photo: PA

This was Leicester Tigers' eighth Premiership final in as many years, but today - as with last year - the annual trip to Twickenham ended in disappointment.

Leicester Tigers only arrived in West London with an hour to spare after delays on the M1, which also meant that thousands of fans turned up late. And in the early stages, it looked as though the players' minds were still on the coach.

Harlequins, in their first ever Premiership Final started brilliantly, and quickly pushed Tigers onto the back foot. Ugo Moyne had all sorts of joy on the wing while Tigers missed tackles, made simple errors, and looked generally jaded. A try and two penalties gave Quins a deserved 11-3 lead and they seemed to be in command. Only the boot of young George Ford was keeping Tigers in touch.

With 10 minutes left of the first half though, the game changed. Dan Coles disrupted another Quins attack down the left, won the ball and presented it to Steve Mafi who was able to set off on an unopposed 40 metre procession to the line and score Tigers' first try. Ford converted, and suddenly Tigers were in front. From then on Tigers looked more comfortable and were creating chances. It seemed they would go in at halftime with the momentum until, moments before the whistle a spell of pressure from Quins had them rattled. Thomas Waldrom needlessly killed the ball at a ruck and was sin-binned. Nick Evans scored the resulting penalty. Tigers trailed by one point at half-time

Harlequins are champions holding the Aviva cup Credit: PA

Harlequins came out full of adventure in the second half, and again took Tigers by suprise.

Two quick penalties set them in the right direction, and then a long spell of pressure on the Tigers line resulted in another try. The thousands who had travelled down from the Midlands were silent; their team looked beaten.

But just as they were being written off, Tigers came back to set up a dramatic final ten minutes. They closed the gap to ten points when a quick tap-penalty from Ben Youngs set up Anthony Allen to outpace the Quins' defence and score under the posts.

Moments later, after yet more pressure from Tigers, Ford converted a penalty to leave them within a score of drawing level. The Leicester fans finally had hope. With seconds left, Tigers forced a line-out in the Quins' 22 but a series of quick attacks led by replacement Billy Twelvetrees came to nothing.

Tigers couldn't force extra time. They are runners-up once again with a final score of Harlequins 30 - 23 Leicester Tigers.

Outside Tigers fans spoke of their disappointment, but many said they were simply pleased to have made the final after a dreadful start to the season which had seen them briefly in the bottom three. The general feeling among Leicester fans; Harlequins were by far the better team on the day.

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