It’s a bridge too far as the Lions fantastic run comes to an end

Dejected Lions players shake hands with their Bridgnorth opponents. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Dejected Lions players shake hands with their Bridgnorth opponents. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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Peterborough Lions will be hoping for a day of English Clubs Championship upsets on Saturday as they bid to keep their promotion hopes alive.

After a heartbreaking loss to Bridgnorth in Shropshire last weekend, the best the Lions can now hope for is second spot in National League Division Three and a promotion play-off place.

Tom Lewis is collared by a Bridgnorth opponent. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Tom Lewis is collared by a Bridgnorth opponent. Picture: Mick Sutterby

And for that to happen they not only have to beat table-topping Broadstreet at Bretton Park (3pm), but also require both play-off rivals Sheffield and Nuneaton to come unstuck against Birmingham and Lichfield respectively.

“I admit it’s all looking a bit unlikely for us to finish second,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore. “If either Sheffield or Nuneaton win, then it doesn’t matter what we do against Broadstreet.

“The Bridgnorth result did us and it was really disappointing to lose the way we did.”

Bridgnorth won the game 16-13 with a penalty five minutes from the end after fighting back from 10-0 down.

Adrian Enwright tries to make ground for the Lions against Bridgnorth. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Adrian Enwright tries to make ground for the Lions against Bridgnorth. Picture: Mick Sutterby

“Fair play to Bridgnorth,” added Moore. “They did a job on us in the rucks and we picked up one penalty after another in the second half and got two yellow cards.”

Substitute Darren Fox and prop Ben Howard were the players sin-binned while the Lions were also hampered when skipper Chris Humphrey went off injured midway through the second half.

Humphrey should be fit for Broadstreet but player/coach Fox won’t be playing. He’s away on a business trip in Germany.

Full-back Adrian Enwright and scrum-half Tom Dougherty will also be out of the country - Enwright on business in Ireland and Dougherty at his sister’s wedding in new Zealand.

On the plus front, Marius Andrijauskas returns after suspension.

The defeat at Bridgnorth ended a superb run of 10 consecutive Lions victories and Moore reflected: “We were all downbeat at Bridgnorth but to be in with a shout of the title with three games left after such a dreadful start to the season was a magnificent effort. Blimey it took us six games to get going!

“Ten wins on the spin at this level takes some doing and all the players and coaches involved in that deserve a pat on the back.

“How can I be critical after such a brilliant effort?”

Should the unthinkable happen on Saturday and the Lions get five points against Broadstreet and Sheffield and Nuneaton pick up none, then everything will hinge on the final Saturday of the season on April 22 when the Lions are at Derby, Nuneaton visit Longton and Sheffield are at home to Bridgnorth.