It was a bad day at the office for local rugby today (September 15) with the area’s top three sides all suffering defeats in the English Clubs Championship.
In National League Two (North), the Peterborough Lions’ baptism of fire continued as they travelled to third-placed Hull Ionians and lost 34-12. They remain rooted to the foot of the table without a point from three games.
Their other two losses were against the teams in first and second place.
In Midlands Division One (East), Oundle lost top spot when suffering a first defeat (26-17) at new leaders Paviors in Nottingham while in the same division Peterborough were pipped 12-5 away at Old Northamptonians.
Lions chairman Andy Moore refused to get downhearted after watching his side come off second-best again.
“Let’s get things into perspective,” he said. “Hull Ionians are a massive side, they’ve just come down from National League One and put 50 points on Tynedale last week away from home. Yet we’ve given them a good game.
“Okay, we started slowly and conceded three tries in the first quarter-of-an-hour but apart from that spell we matched them. Our forwards were tremendous and we had them going in the scrums.
“We got it back to 22-12 in the second half and it took them ages to score their fourth try for the bonus point. And their last try was an interception try right on the final whistle.
“We were also missing four key players - Kaz Henderson, who has broken his leg, Aki Lea, Ben Young and Ashley Hill - four established players who might have made a difference.
“So taking everything into account we’re remaining very positive. We are competing, we are creating chances and we are a National League Two side.
“It’s just unfortunate that we’ve played three of the best sides in the league in our first three games at this level. We will start winning games soon. We are recruiting new players all the time, we’re strengthening and once they all get bedded in we’ll be up and running.
“We are not a pushover. This is a massive step-up for us but we’ll handle it.”
Jack Askham and Chris Cutts scored the Lions tries with Nico Defeo adding a conversion.
For the second week running Borough gained a losing bonus point (awarded for losing by a margin of seven points or less). Last Saturday they were pipped 22-19 at Oadby.
There was little to choose between Oundle and Paviors in the first half and after 40 minutes it was level pegging at 12-12.
But in the second half Paviors powerful forwards powered their way in for two tries.
Toby Snelling and Vernon Horne crossed for the Oundle scores with Will Carrington adding a conversion.