No neighbourly love at Fengate as Borough clash with Oundle
There's a mouthwatering local derby at Fengate on Saturday as Borough take on Oundle in an English Clubs Championship game (3pm).
It’ll be the first ever league clash between the two Midlands Division Two East (South) sides following Oundle’s sudden surge up the Championship ladder.
After investing heavily in ex-Peterborough Lions players, they romped to the Division Three East (South) title last term to clinch promotion.
More recruiting from the Lions den followed - most notably Vernon Horne, Marc Roussouw, Adam Peel and Jaco Steenberg - and Oundle have proved they can certainly cope with life at the higher level.
They’ll go into Saturday’s showdown on the back of two wins and sit just behind Borough in the table.
Borough also enter the fray after two league wins and an heroic performance in the RFU Intermediate Cup last Saturday when they were only just pipped 29-26 by high-flying visitors Rugby Lions - a former senior club striving to claw their way back to the top.
The one-time Warwickshire giants were full of praise for Borough after a cracking cup tie.
“Without doubt Peterborough were tough nuts to crack,” said Rugby coach Rob Dignum.
“We wish them well in their league campaign. On Saturday’s evidence they will cause sides problems all season.”
The Fengate faithful can expect another humdinger this weekend between an established side at this level and an ambitious, up-and-coming club from just across the Northamptonshire border.
Oundle will include a handful of ex-Borough boys - Horne, Peel, Saad Sait, Mark Carter and Angus Milborne among them - keen to upset the applecart and a juicy 80-minute battle is anticipated.
Borough head coach Lee Adamson is attempting to play down the rivalry.
He said: “Both sides will know many of the guys they are up against, but for us it is just another game in a long season.
“We will not be preparing any differently as to how we would normally, although we acknowledge there will be a large crowd and a lot of local rivalry on the touchline.”
Adamson, who will not pick his side until after training tonight (Thursday), went on to say how pleased he was with Saturday’s cup showing against Rugby.
He added: “We displayed the right attitude and plenty of passion and at times we played some of the best rugby I have seen from us for a while.
“The boys were understandably disappointed not to win and I fully expect the squad to take a positive frame of mind into the game this Saturday.”
Stefan Gallucci crossed twice for Borough against Rugby with impressive number eight Paulius Strigonas also touching down.
Peterborough Lions meanwhile will be hoping to build on their welcome win from two weeks ago when they resume their National League Division Three campaign on Saturday with a trip to Cheshire.
They take on Sandbach (3pm) after recording their first win - 37-24 against Towcestrians - at the sixth attempt last time out.
Sandbach have lost their last two league games - 25-16 at Old Halesonians and 16-9 at home to Nuneaton. In last year’s corresponding fixture Sandbach were 38-10 winners.