Massive match for Oundle as Yorkshire champions hit town

Jack Lewis scores a try for the Lions against Hinckley much to the delight of team-mate Ben Crooks. Picture: Kevin Goodacre.

Jack Lewis scores a try for the Lions against Hinckley much to the delight of team-mate Ben Crooks. Picture: Kevin Goodacre.

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Oundle Rugby Club face the biggest game in their history on Saturday when they take on Yorkshire League side West Leeds in the semi-final of a national competition.

Victory in the RFU Senior Vase semi-final at Occupation Road (3pm) will take them to Twickenham on May 7 for the final and what a fabulous day out that would be.

But, although the Northamptonshire side are having the time of their lives at the moment with the Midlands Division Three East (South) title already in the bag and English Clubs Championship promotion secured, they’ll find West Leeds tough nuts to crack.

The West Yorkshire side are also flying in the league - they’re sitting pretty at the top of Yorkshire Division Two with an unbeaten record from 23 games - and they were at Twickenham for last year’s Vase final.

They lost that game to Bromley and also tasted defeat in the Junior Vase decider at Twickenham in 1998 when losing to Huddersfield YMCA.

So they’re desperate to make it third time lucky at RFU headquarters.

They’ll come into the game off the back of a 52-0 win over Barnsley while Oundle beat Northampton BBOB 48-20 on Saturday.

Coach Peter Croot rested several players for that match but those that came in did very well indeed - Eddie King scored a hat-trick of tries and Angus Milborne and Ulaiasi Tuitubou both impressed - and Croot admits it’s given him a selection headache for this weekend’s big game.

Croot said: “All the players that came in stepped up and settled in well and it certainly gives us a few headaches, but it’s a nice problem to have.

“Whatever team we put out will have to perform for 80 minutes. We know West Leeds will be formidable opponents. They have been scoring tries for fun lately.”

LIONS GO CLOSE

Peterborough Lions almost snatched an unexpected victory at Bretton Park on Saturday when entertaining National League Division Three table-toppers Hinckley.

The Leicestershire side dominated possession and territory for long spells but somehow the Lions snatched a 24-23 lead deep into injury time with a try by Jack Lewis.

Unfortunately for the Lions, Hinckley went straight back upfield, won a penalty and slotted the three points with the last kick of the game for a 26-24 triumph.

“To push the best team in the league so close bodes well for next season and our rebuild,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.

Lions other try came from Arturius Balcunius with Will Carrington kicking four penalties and a conversion.

BOROUGH ARE SAFE

Borough got the bonus point win they needed to secure their place in Midlands Division Two East (South) when beating Belgrave 36-31 at Fengate.

Try-scorers were Tom Williams (2), Chris Sansby, Dewi Pearce, Jonno Anderson and Zac McClure.

Borough seconds were beaten 55-19 by Bedford Athletic seconds in a top-of-the-table clash in the East Midlands Merit League.

They ran in three well worked tries by Luke Smedley, skipper Andy Barringer and Andy Evans with Ben Richardson and James Hannam making welcome returns to the club and Daniel Foulkes putting in a solid debut appearance.

The result means Bedford Athletic are league winners but Borough can finish second if they win their two remaining matches against Bugbrooke and Towcester.

TOUCH LEAGUE

Peterborough Rugby Club are running a Summer Touch League again this summer.

It starts on Friday June 3 (7pm-9pm) and runs for four weeks.

There are leagues for all ages from Under 6 upwards (boys and girls, men and ladies) and anyone interested in entering a team should contact John Sismey on 07775 505737.