A stirring second-half performance earned Peterborough Lions four welcome English Clubs Championship points this afternoon (Deceember 3).
They entertained Bridgnorth at Bretton Park and took the honours 26-20 to remain tenth in the National League Division Three table - just eight points off third place.
But it was far from plain sailing for Darren Fox’s boys. In fact their first-half showing was distinctly below par and they were rather fortunate to turn round with an 8-7 advantage.
They were lethargic up front and the whole effort was disjointed. Apart from occasional thrusts by the hard-working back row trio of Sam Crooks, Chris Humphrey and Tom Gulland it was all vey pedantic and rather boring.
Play was mostly confined to the middle of the park and the Lions created just one try-scoring opportunity. Luckily Will Carrington took it after a lovely blindside chip into space by Nico Defeo.
Carrington missed the conversion but had been on target with a penalty after seven minutes and that was all the Lions really had to shout about after a dull opening 40 minutes.
Bridgnorth, a very competent all-round outfit promoted to the National League this season, scored their converted try in the 24th minute.
The second half was a far more entertaining affair and saw a much more spirited display by the home side.
A few changes in personnel certainly appeared to help. Josh Waller, Conor Crown and Tom Dougherty were introduced early and that seemed to produce more energy and more urgency.
The Lions did fall behind in the 44th minute as Bridgnorth nicked a second converted try but after that they hogged possession and were rewarded with two more tries.
Defeo got the first, a solo effort from a jinking 25-yard run after solid groundwork by Kaz Henderson, and Jack Lewis rolled off a maul to snatch the second after a fine lineout take by Marius Andrijauskas.
Carrington converted one of the tries and kicked two more penalties for a 16-point haul.
The win was all the more creditable seeing as Lions had two players visit the sin-bin. This week’s occupants were Andrijauskas and Crooks.
Chairman Andy Moore said: “We ground out a good win today with a battling second-half performance. I think the tactical changes we made in the second half gave us the edge and we were deserving winners. We certainly had most of the ball in the second half.
“All teams seem to be equal in this division at the moment. You can’t take anything for granted. No results are predictable. So any win is welcome.”
Lions: Iannou, J. Lewis, Howerd, Andrijauskas, Faingaa, Crooks, Humphrey, Gulland, Aviss, Defeo, Henderson, T. Lewis, Carrington, Morris, Taylor. Subs: Waller, Crown, Dougherty.