MATCH REPORTS: First win for the Borough boys but the Lions lose again
Borough were celebrating a first win of the season in the English Clubs Championship at Fengate this afternoon (October 1) but there was more misery at Bretton Park as the Lions lost at home again.
Borough got their Midlandds Division Two East (South) campaign up and running at the third attempt with a 31-8 victory over Coventry side Old Laurentians while the Lions came unstuck 19-12 against Old Halesonians and are still looking for their first win in National League Division Three with five games gone.
A dominant display by the Borough pack paved the way for their victory and they never looked like losing once Sotuh African centre Michael Bean had powered his way over the line for their first try after five minutes.
Sam Williams, making his debut at full-back, touched down for the second try and two Lewis Hall penalties gave the home side a 16-3 advantage at the interval.
Side-stepping winger Stefan Gallucci showed a nice turn of pace early in the second half to run in try number three and after another Hall penalty, back row star Sarel Pretorious, another summer South African recruit, crowned a superb game by running in the fourth try to claim the bonus point. Hall’s conversion made it 31-3.
The Borough front row of Nico Steenkamp, George Hicks and Stuart Day were immense while the back row trio of Pretorious, Hall and Ben Higton wreaked havoc in the Laurentians defence all afternoon.
Young full-back Tanaka Kanhukamwe, a 17 year-old from the Academy side, came on to replace Williams early in the first-half and he showed several impressive touches on his debut.
Borough vice-chairman Archie Bennett was thrilled with Borough’s performance.
“We were fantastic today - totally dominant up front and exciting to watch outside,” he said. “We are all very happy.”
While Bennett was jumping for joy, Lions chairman Andy Moore was deeply depressed after watching his side lose at home for the third time this season.
“I don’t know how we didn’t win that game,” he moaned. “I can’t believe we’ve lost again.”
The Lions did turn in a much improved display after taking a 53-0 hammering at Nuneaton seven days ago but once again they lacked a killer instinct.
They certainly should have applied it midway through the second half when the visitors were reduced to 12 men through three yellow cards and the score stood at 13-12 in their favour.
But as much as they huffed and puffed during a ferocious battering of the Halesonians line, the Lions just couldn’t secure a touchdown.
Halesonians defended heroically, survived the onslaught and once they were back to full strength went up the other end and kicked two late penalties.
The first half finished at 13-12 with Will Carrington kicking four penalties for the Lions and Laurentians scoring a converted try and two penalties.
The Lions started well enough and for 20 minutes had the edge territorially. Skipper Chris Humphrey led from the front, putting in some bone-crunching tackles, and Sam Crooks caught the eye going forward with some powerful thrusts.
But once they got the journey out of their system, and got to grips with proceedings, it was Old Halesonians who looked far more positive in attack. They ran with more purpose and handled smartly.
The Lions on the other hand were hesitant and spilled far too many passes.
It is getting better though, and once again the Lions had the consolation of picking up a losing bonus point against a side third in the table.
But today’s result has edged Lions into the relegation zone and an impatient chairman is demanding an urgent fix. New blood could start flowing in very soon.
Oundle also achieved their first win in Midlands Division Two East (South) today, beating Olney 34-5 at home, while Stamford made it a good day locally in this division with a 22-6 win at home to Oadby.