RUGBY: Borough celebrate a first win in 2016 but Lions lose again

Adam Barnard attacks for the Lions against Scunthorpe. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Adam Barnard attacks for the Lions against Scunthorpe. Picture: Mick Sutterby

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Borough stopped the rot this afternoon (February 20) when winning their first game of the year but there was a third defeat on the trot for the Lions.

Borough ended a losing run of five matches in Midlands Division Two East (South) when beating Olney 36-26 at Fengate while the Lions were pipped 15-9 at Bretton Park by National League Division Three title fancies Scunthorpe.

Today’s welcome win for Borough, which eases relegation fears, was down to a scintillating performance by their backs.

Yet again Borough’s lack of bulk up front meant they were unable to assert any real authority on the forward battle. But outside they had all the aces.

Expertly marshalled by man-of-the-match Joe Andresen at fly-half, the Borough threes were all full of running and when in possession a joy to watch.

They stunned Olney with a sparkling three-try blitz inside the first 10 minutes and Andresen scored two of them.

His first arrived from the first Borough attack launched with a telling break by full-back Tom Williams and his second was a brilliant solo effort which saw him slice through the Olney defence on a mesmerising run from inside his own half.

In between Andresen’s tries, skipper John Thompson burrowed his way over after Cheyne Loades had won a lineout close to the Olney line - a platform gained thanks to a lovely run of 50 yards by seriously fast winger Chris Sansby.

Harry Roe converted two of the tries to make it 19-0 and a huge win looked to be on the cards.

But while their attacking was quality, Borough’s defence was most certainly not. Too many tackles were either half-hearted efforts or missed completely and that allowed Olney to stay in touch and make for an exciting contest.

The visitors snatched a couple of tries to reduce the leeway to 19-14 after 35 minutes and it needed another Andresen sparkler to calm the Borough nerves.

Just before half-time he again produced a dazzling burst from well inside his own half, scooting round half a dozen Olney chasers to cross for his second try and make it 24-14 at the turnaround.

And it was that man Andresen who set up Sansby for a try straight after the restart for a 29-14 lead.

Back came Olney again though with a converted try and once more the Borough fans were getting edgy.

But with 10 minutes to go, Sansby scorched in for Borough’s sixth touchdown after good work by number eight Andy Barringer which was converted by Roe.

That made it 36-21 and it proved to be enough. Olney applied plenty of late pressure but managed just one more try.

The Lions turned in a much better performance against Scunthorpe than they did last week when crashing 38-10 at Sandbach but it just wasn’t quite enough against an in-form team tipped by many to win the league.

“They are a very good side and I’m sure they’ll win the league,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore. “But we gave them a good game. We applied a lot of pressure late on but just couldn’t get the ball over the line.

“It was a great game though and wouldn’t have been out of place in National League Two.”

Will Carrington kicked three penalties for the Lions while Scunthorpe scored three unconverted tries. It was 10-6 at half-time.

George Offer, the Lions latest recruit from Borough, came on as a second-half substitute and showed some useful touches in the centre.