MATCH REPORTS: Borough are champions . . . and the Lions could be as well

It was a champagne moment for Borough head coach Lee Adamson at Fengate today.  Picture: Kevin Goodacre

It was a champagne moment for Borough head coach Lee Adamson at Fengate today. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

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What a super Saturday afternoon (March 25) it’s been for Peterborough rugby with both Borough and the Lions having good cause for celebration in the English Clubs Championship.

Borough, as expected, gained the bonus-point win they needed to become Midlands Division Two East (South) champions while the Lions remain in the hunt for honours at National League Division Three level.

Borough players celebrate their title win. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Borough players celebrate their title win. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Belgrave were the visitors to Fengate and once again they received a hammering. Borough thrashed them 59-0 in Leciester earlier in the seson and today went one better, clinching the title with a 60-5 victory.

Lee Adamson’s boys turned on the style for a big crowd and ran Belgrave ragged with their trademark 15-man style of rugby.

They crossed for 10 terrific team tries with the touchdowns credited to Joe Andresen (2), Tom Williams (2), Aaron Throne, Chris Sansby, Harry Roe, Tom Stuffins (2) and John Thompson. Williams was on target with five of the conversions.

“It was a great way to win the title and gain promotion,” said vice-chairman Archie Bennett. “We showed them no mercy and simply ran away with it.

Joe Andresen is congratulated after scoring a try against Belgrave. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Joe Andresen is congratulated after scoring a try against Belgrave. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

“It’s wonderful to be back in Midlands Division One again - that’s where we belong.

“The future is so bright at Fengate we are all wearing sunglasses.”

The Lions entertained Birmingham at Bretton Park in a must-win game for both sides. The losers would almost certainly drop out of what was a five-horse title race before today’s games.

The Lions won a fiercely-fought contest 23-10 and with three games to go they’re still very much in contention for top spot and promotion to National League Two. They remain fourth but are only six points behind the leaders Broad Street, who visit Bretton Park on April 8.

Adrian Enwright scores a try for the Lions against Birmingham. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Adrian Enwright scores a try for the Lions against Birmingham. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Birmingham were very formidable opponents - massive in the engine room and well oiled on the outside - and for long spells threatened to smash the Lion’s outstanding run of nine victories to smithereens.

But for all their power and all their running they only managed to penetrate a rock-solid Lions defence once - and that was an interception try in the first minute.

The Lions saw far less of the ball and were dominated territorially for the entire second half yet ran in three tries.

Their first came on 31 minutes and was scored by Adrian Enwright, who had a sound game at full-back, fielding impeccably under the high ball throughout the first half and countering with positive effect. His try arrived after a bulldozing burst from prop Josh Waller. Will Carrington converted it and then slotted a penalty just before the interval to give Lions a half-time advantage of 10-7.

Nico Defeo on the run for the Lions against Birmingham. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Nico Defeo on the run for the Lions against Birmingham. Picture: Mick Sutterby

The second-half started with a bang for the home side. Two minutes in and lively fly-half Nico Defeo zipped through a couple of tackles before sending Carrington scurrying in at the corner.

Birmingham then proceeded to rule the roost for the next half-an-hour and bombarded the Lions line for long spells.

But they came up against a brick wall in which Darren Fox and skipper Chris Humphrey were the most sturdy and stubborn. Birmingham managed a penalty to narrow it to 15-10 but that was all they got.

And the Lions added another eight points to their tally in injury-time as Carrington kicked another penalty and Tom Aviss gathered in a neat chip ahead by Defeo to touch down in the corner. Andrew Dewdney played a major part in the build-up.

Birmingham had two players sin-binned just before half-time whereas the Lions, for a pleasant change, only picked up one yellow card. And that was awarded - to Kaz Henderson - in the last few seconds of the game.

Back to Midlands Division One East (South) and Oundle beat Luton 21-12 to maintain their push for finishing second behind Borough. They are third, a point behind Oadby.

Lions prop Josh Waller on the burst against Birmingham. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Lions prop Josh Waller on the burst against Birmingham. Picture: Mick Sutterby

In the same section Stamford lost 53-39 at Rushden.