MATCH REPORT: Borough shade local derby against Oundle

Action from the Borough v Oundle game. Picture: David Lowndes
Action from the Borough v Oundle game. Picture: David Lowndes
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Borough took the honours in the big local derby in Midlands Division One this afternoon (October 28) at Fengate.

The city side came out on top 22-16 in another tight tussle against Oundle.

Borough's  Sarel Pretorius tackles Oundle's Craig Tandy. Picture: David Lowndes

Borough's Sarel Pretorius tackles Oundle's Craig Tandy. Picture: David Lowndes

Last year at Midlands Division Two level, the first ever league clash between the two sides ended all square at 31-31 and Borough won the second one 28-16.

Today’s third instalment wasn’t a patch on either of those games in terms of excitement or ferocity but the result was nonetheless in doubt until the final whistle.

In fact in the dying seconds Oundle fly-half Will Carrington knocked on a yard from the line to squander a great chance to earn Oundle victory.

Both sides were excellent defensively today and cancelled each other out.

Oundle's Saad Sait nails his man. Picture: David Lowndes

Oundle's Saad Sait nails his man. Picture: David Lowndes

The first half in particular produced little in the way of try-scoring opportunities and finished 8-5 to Borough.

They kicked a penalty after three minutes through Joe Andresen and went 8-0 ahead on 14 minutes when winger Stefan Gallucci touched down after some neat work down the blindside by scrum-half Harry Roe and number eight Sarel Pretorius.

Borough dominated the rest of the half in terms of territory but found it difficult to penetrate a rock-solid Oundle defence in which the centre pairing of Toby Snelling and Gareth Smithson stood out.

Just before the interval Oundle snatched a try when full-back Vernon Horne entered the line at speed for a simple touchdown.

Oundle played much more in their opponents’ half in the second 40 minutes and stunned the home support when going ahead at 10-8 with a pushover try by Craig Tandy after a brilliant break by Horne, who crashed through five tackles on a 50-yard burst.

Carrington kicked a penalty for Oundle soon after to increase their lead to 13-8 but then a lightning counter-attack inspired by winger Mooki Tshepo Olebile ended with Zak McClure darting over for a try from 15 yards out.

Andresen’s conversion made it 15-13 to Borough and with 12 minutes remaining, and after successfully soaking up a spell of strong Oundle pressure, Borough stretched it to 22-13 with their third try.

That was a pick-up-and-go from the base of a scrum by Pretorius and Andresen converted to complete his side’s scoring.

With five minutes to go a long range penalty by Smithson reduced the deficit to 22-16 and that’s the way it stayed.

Both sides had players sin-binned during the second half - Carrington for Oundle and Ben Higton for Borough- but it was by no means a fiery affair.

Borough stay fourth in the table with Oundle seventh.