MATCH REPORTS: Borough buoyant, Lions suffer a mauling

Tom Williams on the way to the try-line for Borough against Market Harborough. Picture: Kevin Goodacre
Tom Williams on the way to the try-line for Borough against Market Harborough. Picture: Kevin Goodacre
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There was a mixed outcome for Peterborough sides in the English Clubs Championships this afternoon (April 8).

Both Borough and the Lions were playing their last home games of the season and while Borough celebrated a whopping win at Fengate there was a crushing defeat for the Lions at Bretton Park.

Ben Edwards storms in for Borough's first try. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Ben Edwards storms in for Borough's first try. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Midlands Division Two East (South) champions Borough entertained Market Harborough and cruised to a 58-12 win but the Lions lost 45-3 to National League Division Three table-toppers Broadstreet.

The Fengate crowd of over 500, boosted by the annual past players pre-match luncheon, were treated to some lovely running rugby in the sunshine.

It took Lee Adamson’s boys a while to get going with the first of their nine tries not arriving until the 21st minute. That was scored by hard-running prop Ben Edwards, who smashed through three tackles to touch down .

A quickly taken penalty by impressive number eight Sarel Pretorious swelled the advantage to 13-0 as he smartly caught the Harborough boys napping with a 15-yard spurt.

Luke Smedley is congratulated by Sarel Pretorious after scoring for Borough. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

Luke Smedley is congratulated by Sarel Pretorious after scoring for Borough. Picture: Kevin Goodacre

And then on the stroke of half-time Borough scored the best try of the match. A brilliant run from deep by young full-back Byron van Uden, a 17 year-old product of the club’s Academy, was supported by Tom Williams and he slickly delivered an inside pass to Joe Andresen, allowing him room to glide over under the posts.

Van Uden, who displayed remarkable confidence for one so young, kicked the conversion and he also slotted a first-half-penalty.

In the second period as Harborough’s big, beefy forwards tired in the heat, Borough sparkled all over the pitch.

The pack, with Pretorious the ace, became totally dominant and the backs attacked with pace and panache.

Kaz Henderson attacks for the Lions against Broadstreet. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Kaz Henderson attacks for the Lions against Broadstreet. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Edwards and Pretorious both added second tries, wingers Tom Stuffins and Luke Smedley, the latter another Academy youngster, darted in, and Rob Moulds and Williams crossed as well.

Four more conversions were added by van uden.

In stark contrast Lions chairman Andy Moore described his side’s finishing as ‘absolutely terrible’ after their big loss - a result that put paid to slim hopes they had of claiming runners-up spot.

“In the second half we squandered at least 20 try-scoring chances on their line. It was unbelievable,” he said.

Chris Humphrey in possession for the Lions against Broadstreet.Picture: Mick Sutterby

Chris Humphrey in possession for the Lions against Broadstreet.Picture: Mick Sutterby

Mind you the game by then was effectively over. In fact, in all honesty it was over ater 20 minutes as Broadstreet showed why they top the table with four unanswered tries in the first quarter.

Moore went on: “We made a slow start. We didn’t turn up in the first half. It was all down to attitude - they had it and we didn’t.

“They were worthy winners, worthy champions as well perhaps, and we couldn’t live with them in the first half. They were fitter, stronger and quicker. When they scored their first-half tries, we just stood off like people standing at a bus-stop.

“It was 38-3 at the break and although we improved in the second half - when Broadstreet perhaps stepped off the gas a bit - and we applied a lot of pressure, we were never going to score. It just wasn’t going to happen today. We could have played for another 40 minutes and we’d still not have scored.”

Will Carrington kicked Lions consolation penalty.

Sheffield and Nuneaton, the Lions mains rivals for second place, both recorded bonus-point wins meaning the Lions will have to settle for fourth place. They conclude their programme away at Derby in a fortnight’s time.

Will Carrington on the run for thr Lions against Broadstreet. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Will Carrington on the run for thr Lions against Broadstreet. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Back in Midlands Division Two East (South) and Oundle look set to finish second behind Borough and earn a promotion play-off spot. They beat main challengers Oadby 61-30 today.