Peterborough RUFC became the first team to take points off Midlands Division One East leaders Derby at Fengate on Saturday (November 9).
And it was a measure of the Borough performance that the squad were disappointed not to have won.
The city side came out the blocks very quickly and on five minutes winger Mooki Tshepo Otto beautifully finished off a fine move along the backs to score near the touchline.
Derby were visibly shocked by the intensity and commitment of the Borough boys and in particular the scrummaging and loose play of the forwards. Coach Phil Powell was marshalling things well from fly half, and this continued to allow Borough to apply pressure.
However Derby slowly clawed their way upfield and were rewarded with a penalty to claw the score back to 5-3.
Matt Newman then increased the home side’s lead to 8-3 with a penalty, and Borough were then cruelly denied a clear try when number 8, big Ben Higton ploughed over the line, only for an unsighted referee to disallow the score.
On the stroke of half-time Derby drew the game level with an unconverted try to leave the half-time score 8-8.
The second half was 10 ten minutes old when Borough were awarded another penalty and Newman stepped up to put Peterborough in the lead 11-8.
The inevitable backlash from the league leaders was then forthcoming, and eventually Derby drew level with a penalty, but a massive rearguard action by the Borough defence held strong with massive hits put in by Sam Crooks, Zak McClure, Josh Myles, George Offer, and even diminutive Scrum Half Rosco Chamberlain.
With the game in five minutes overtime Borough broke upfield and following a quick penalty Sam Crooks broke clear, but to the disappointment of the large vocal home crowd, he was adjudged to have knocked the ball on.
From the resulting scrum Derby drove forward, and were awarded a penalty when Borough were penalised for being offside. The final chance therefore went to Derby but the penalty kick went well wide, and the referee finally called full time.
It was a brilliant game of rugby, watched by a large crowd and brought the curtain down on what was a fantastic advert for grassroots sport in Peterborough.
Peterborough Lions delivered an improved Midlands Premier Division display against high-flying Sanbdach in Bretton, but still went down 36-5. Oakeley Mellish scored the Liosn try.