Peterborough Regional College bowed out of the National Colleges Cup yesterday (March 4) at the quarter-final stage after a terrific scrap with Henley College from Coventry.
The local lads were pipped 15-14 by the Coventry Rugby Club Academy side after leading 14-10 with five minutes to go.
There was nothing to choose between the two sides for 20 minutes as the two packs tested each other out physically.
Then Josh Broome had the first scoring chance as Peterborough were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately the strong wind took the ball just wide of the target.
Five minutes before the interval Henley finally broke into the Peterborough 22 for the first time in the game and from a ruck broke free to score the first points.
The second half continued with constant physical play from the packs and Peterborough started to get on top at the set pieces and in the breakdown areas.
After 10 minutes Tom Winch hit a gap and went in under the posts for a fantastic individual try covering half the length of the pitch.
Peterborough were now in control and retained the ball much better in the back line, linking up with dynamic forward play.
Henley were then awarded a penalty in front of the posts and went 10-7 up.
The lead was short-lived though. Peterborough were awarded a penalty just inside their own half which saw Dean Elmore take a quick tap and then run through the retreating defence to touch down under the posts.
That gave the home side a 14-10 advantage with only five minutes left but Henley immediately hit back from the restart and moved the ball from a five-metre scrum to score a try in the corner.
Peterborough had a chance to steal victory when awarded a penalty 40 metres out with 30 seconds left.
Kicker Broome stepped up and struck the ball well and the distance was perfect but the gusting wind took the ball just outside the posts to end play.
Peterborough coach Lewis Capes said: “This was a great cup game against a quality outfit who had high calibre players playing at National One level.
“Our boys should be proud of themselves as they played out of their skins and put their bodies on the line.
“It is fantastic that we are competing at this level with only 20 players against teams with squads of between 80 and 100. I was proud of them today.”