Lions lose two star players and Borough chalk up a record win

Chris Humphrey leads the Lions off the pitch for the last time. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Chris Humphrey leads the Lions off the pitch for the last time. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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Peterborough Lions won their last game of the season and the 29-12 success over Longton at Bretton Park secured a highly plausible fourth-place finish in National League Division Three.

Yet, the occasion was tinged with sadness as two of their finest players had just played their last game for the club.

Adam Barnard pictured after playing his last game for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Adam Barnard pictured after playing his last game for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Player/coach Adam Barnard has decided to move to a club closer to his London home while skipper Chris Humphrey has announced his retirement from the game.

And head coach Darren Fox admitted it was a sad day for the club.

“They will both be massive losses to me and this club. ‘Barney’ has been a great help to me on the coaching front for the last two seasons and I owe him a lot. And of course he’s one helluva player,” said Fox.

“And as for ‘Humpo’ - well what can I say about this guy. He is the best player in the league and he’s been the driving force behind the Lions for the last five or six years.

Nico Steenkamp scored a try for the Lions against Longton. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Nico Steenkamp scored a try for the Lions against Longton. Picture: Mick Sutterby

“As a club we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

“He’s taken a few bumps to the head this season and there are concerns about his health. I respect his decision but I know ‘Humpo’ and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him back in a Lions shirt once he sorts his head issues out. He’s still only 25. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

Speaking about the Lions season as a whole, Fox added: “To finish fourth after the slow start we made and the deduction of five points is a great efffort.

“You always want to do better but realistically I have to be pleased. We are certainly up there with the top two or three teams in the league and are moving forward.

“We’ve got a very young side and providing they continue to commit and carry on learning then we’re in for some exciting times. The future looks very positive.”

Eight members of the Lions squad will now be attending trials in a bid to make the East Midlands team for the upcoming County Championship.

They are Barnard, Chris Cutts, Will Carrington, Matt Dunn, Vernon Horne, Tom Lewis, Sam Crooks and De La Ray Veenendaal.

Fox is part of the East Midlands coaching set-up.

BOROUGH

There was a record- breaking end to the season for Borough.

They entertained already relegated Leicester Forest in their final match of the season in Midlands Division Two East (South) and ran out whopping 93-7 winners to create a new club record score for a league match.

The Borough backs possessed far too much pace for the Forest defence and centre Adam Kimber led the way with a hat-trick of tries in the one-sided slaughter.

The other centre Joe Andresen, winger Stefan Gallucci, full-back Johnny Beale and replacement hooker Dewi Pearce all crossed twice with the outstanding quartet of scrum-half Harry Roe, prop Stuart Day, fly-half Tom Williams and number eight Blake Heron scoring one try each.

Roe landed nine conversions for a 23-point haul.

SPALDING

Spalding ran in 10 tries to banish the threat of relegation from Midlands Division Two East (North) when caning Coalville 66-7 in their last match at the Memorial Field.

Skipper Sam Cooke led from the front with two tries as Spalding racked up 52 unanswered second-half points.

Harry Sharman and Harry Harrison also scored twice.

THORNEY

Thorney were comfortable winners in the local Midlands Division Four East (South) derby against Bourne.

Winger Michael Croucher scorched in for a hat-trick of tries as Thorney won 29-7 to finish fourth in the table.

Thorney still have the Hunts and Peterborough Cup Final to look forward to against Huntingdon seconds at home on Saturday April 30 (2.30pm kick off ).