Local derby win boosts Borough’s title hopes

Stefan Gallucci on the run for Borough against Oundle. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Stefan Gallucci on the run for Borough against Oundle. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

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Old friends Borough and Oundle have now produced two cracking local derbies this season - but there’s unlikely to be another one for a while.

For the result of Saturday’ s second instalment - a 28-16 away win for Borough - almost certainly signals a change of status for one of them next term.

Stuart Day scores a try for Borough against Oundle. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Stuart Day scores a try for Borough against Oundle. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Borough, although they won’t admit it yet, are racing certainties to leave Midlands Division Two East (South) behind.

The five points gained on Saturday keeps them 13 points clear at the top of the table with seven games to play.

The finish line is in sight and a return to Midlands Division One is beckoning.

But for Oundle the result has pushed them down to fourth in the table and they have it all to do now to celebrate their 40th anniversary season with runners-up spot and a promotion play-off place.

Danius Tomoliunas launches an attack for Borough against Oundle. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Danius Tomoliunas launches an attack for Borough against Oundle. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

They have done very well in their first season at Division Two level - they held Borough to a draw at Fengate back in October - and have some very good players. Seven of their starters against Borough on Saturday had after all played National League rugby with Peterborough Lions.

But few could argue with the result at the weekend. Oundle huffed and puffed - none more so than new Kiwi flanker Evan Griffiths and strong-running centre Toby Snelling - but ultimately they were no match for a Borough side who were superior in most departments.

And whenever the Borough backs got some room to manoeuvre, tries always looked likely.

They got four - through Ben Higton, Stuart Day, Jonno Anderson and a gem from Joe Andresen - but could have had at least another four but for cold hands and spilled passes.

Oundle boss Peter Croot admitted: “Borough are the best team we have played at this level and we wish them well for next season.

“We were by no means outclassed but the final execution was the difference.”

Borough vice-chairman Archie Bennett commented: “We knew Oundle would come at us with all guns blazing and being the talented side that they are, that is exactly what they did. However, with the backing of a large travelling support, we got the job done, and although it was not pretty at times we were clinical in our finishing and resolute in defence.”

This Saturday, both Borough and Oundle should be in for a much easier ride. They take on Vipers and Rushden respectively - two teams still looking for their first league wins of the season