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Champion feeling for Hipkiss

PUBLISHED: 17:22 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:33 12 July 2010

Leicester were crowned Guinness Premiership champions for the third time in four seasons as two Norfolk players - Dan Hipkiss, who started out at Diss, and former North Walsham player Ben Youngs - took centre stage.

Leicester were crowned Guinness Premiership champions for the third time in four seasons as two Norfolk players - Dan Hipkiss, who started out at Diss, and former North Walsham player Ben Youngs - took centre stage.

The Tigers retained the league crown by keeping their composure during a thrilling encounter which saw the lead change hands seven times.

Centre Matt Smith, Youngs and substitute Hipkiss scored tries for Leicester, with Hipkiss striking three minutes from time.

But it was fly-half Toby Flood's goalkicking that made the difference as he booted 18 points from four penalties and three conversions, while number eight Jordan Crane delivered a monumental man-of-the-match display.

Saracens captain Ernst Joubert claimed a touchdown in each half, and there were 17 points for fly-half Glen Jackson on his final appearance before retirement, but the Hertfordshire club have still not won a major trophy since 1998.

And they will kick themselves for missing several tackles on Hipkiss during a dramatic finale after Tigers wing Scott Hamilton snaffled possession from the restart after a Jackson penalty had edged Saracens 27-26 in front.

Afterwards Hipkiss hailed the club's never-say-die spirit after a dramatic victory . “It was a fantastic game, real last-minute stuff,” Hipkiss said. “We are never quite done, there's always a bit more to go.

“In a final it means a massive amount and credit to the boys for sticking in there.”

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