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Leicester centre Pat Howard
"I'm not overly happy with the win"
 real 14k

Leicester's Tim Stimpson
"It was a very close game"
 real 56k

Leicester manager Dean Richards
"It was a close run thing"
 real 56k

Leicester skipper Martin Johnson
"It was a tense match"
 real 56k

banner Saturday, 21 April, 2001, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Leicester power into Heineken final
Leon Lloyd breaks free for his early try
Leon Lloyd breaks free for his early try
Leicester 19-15 Gloucester

Leicester Tigers roared into their second Heineken Cup final with a powerful team performance that ended brave Gloucester's dreams of European glory.

14 points from England full-back Tim Stimpson plus an early try from Leon Lloyd were too much for gutsy Gloucester, who failed to turn possession into points at key periods throughout the game.

Five penalties from Simon Mannix were ultimately in vain as the greater fitness and poise of the Tigers took them into the 19 May showdown with Stade Francais.

Gloucester gave everything in a nail-biting finale but Leicester hung on through four minutes of injury time at Vicarage Road.
Leicester's Murphy is hauled back by Little
Leicester's Murphy is hauled back by Little

Lifted by Mannix's fourth penalty just into the second half, the Cherry and Whites attacked with relish.

Despite a dismal run of form in the build-up to the match, and the loss of several of their key men, Gloucester had dominated territorially for long periods off the game.

But Leicester absorbed their best shots and then, as Gloucester tired, forced them back deep into their own 22.

19-year-old Jay Simpson-Daniel produced the tackle of the weekend to stop Ben Kay dead in his tracks with the second-row forward charging towards the line.

But, all the while, man-of-the-match Stimpson kept landing his penalties to tighten the stranglehold inexorably.

The sight of skipper Martin Johnson returning to the fray with 15 minutes remaining, after an earlier yellow card, must have struck fear into tiring Gloucester legs.

Priceless lead

In perfect sunny conditions Gloucester had come out of the traps at lightning pace, determined to make a lie of their underdogs tag.

They put the first points on the board with a Mannix penalty, but the Tigers struck back with two Stimpson penalties.

After another Mannix kick had brought the sides level, two Gomersall mistakes gifted Leicester a priceless lead.

His clearing kick failed to find touch - and when Stimpson's searing run set up Lloyd, Andy Gomersall's missed tackle left the Leicester youngster with an unopposed run under the posts.

Unforced errors

Phillipe Saint-Andre paced the touchline furiously, concerned that the balance of power in the match had shifted for good.

Too often his side created an opening only to put themselves back under pressure with unforced errors.

Ian Jones was winning plenty of line-out ball but Leicester, with their usual rock-solid defence, were content to soak up their somewhat frenetic attacks and counter-attack at pace.


Teams

Leicester
Murphy, Stanley, Lloyd, Howard, Stimpson, Goode, Healey, Rowntree, West, Garforth, M. Johnson, Kay, W. Johnson, Back, Corry.
Replacements: Hamilton, Gelderbloom, Gustard, Moody, Nebbett, Cockerill, Freshwater.

Gloucester
Hayward, Greenslade-Jones, Fanolua, Little, Simpson-Daniel, Mannix, Gomarsall, Deacon, Azam, Vickery, Fidler, I. Jones, Boer, K. Jones, Paramore.
Replacements: Moncrieff, Yates, Cox, Hazell, Fortey, Ojomoh, M. Cornwell.

Referee: Joel Dume (France)

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