Leicester Lions roar the loudest in a try-fest at Solstice Park

Jack Askham runs in for the first Peterborough Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Jack Askham runs in for the first Peterborough Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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There was a feast of tries at a sun-soaked Solstice Park this afternoon (March 30) in the battle of the Lions.

There were 13 touchdowns to savour in a highly entertaining National League Two North clash but it was Leicester Lions who scored eight of them to secure a 52-29 triumph against relegated Peterborough Lions.

Will Moore touches down for his first Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Will Moore touches down for his first Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

But the home side certainly put up a gutsy display and for 40 minutes were the better side.

They led 22-17 at half-time after a seven-try blast arrived within the space of 20 fascinating minutes.

Peterborough dominated the first 20 minutes and were unlucky not to be ahead with Josh Waller and Tom Lewis both going within inches of a touchdown.

But, quite remarkably, the Leicester Lions then slammed in three tries in quick succession - within four minutes to be precise - to forge into a 17-0 lead. All came from distance - two of them superb solo efforts and the other an interception.

Kaz Henderson scores for Peterborough Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Kaz Henderson scores for Peterborough Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Even more remarkably, the Peterborough Lions roared back with four tries of their own.

Jack Askham charged over for the first after a great break by Suva Ma’asi and then Will Moore was sent scurrying in from 25 metres out by Lewis for his first try for the side.

Tom Gulland was next to add his name to the scoresheet, his try coming after Kaz Henderson smashed through three tackles, and Nico Defeo added the conversion to that one.

Then on the stroke of half-time the Lions took a well deserved lead as Henderson finished off a splendid move involving the entire Lions team to score the bonus-point try. Franco Perticaro was three times prominent in the build-up.

Tom Gulland on his way to the try-line for Peterborough Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Tom Gulland on his way to the try-line for Peterborough Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

It was a cracking end to a cracking 40 minutes of open, running rugby - the best seen at Solstice Park this season.

But, as so often has been the case this campaign, the Peterborough Lions were unable to sustain the momentum.

They had chances to increase their lead with Gulland and Perticaro putting in telling breaks early in the second half but once Leicester hit the front with their fourth try in the 46th minute it was game over.

Leicester dominated the last half-an-hour - a job made all the more easier for them after Peterborough had Aki Lea harshly red carded for an illegal tackle in the 64th minute.

Peterborough grabbed their fifth try when hard-working skipper Conor Gracey won a lineout 20 metres out and Marius Andrijauskas scored from the resultant rolling maul. Defeo added the extras.

“Today was typical of our season. We showed we can compete with the best of them for long spells but not quite for long enough,” said Peterborough Lions chairman Andy Moore.

“I thought we showed great character to come back from 17-0 down to lead after the first half. Sadly things didn’t quite go our way in the second half. And there’s no way that was a red card offence.

“But at least we can say we’ve had a taste of the National League. And we like it and want to come back for more.”

Peterborough Lions: Charley Robinson, Jack Askham, Josh Waller, Christian Edbrooke, Will Nankevill, Tom Lewis, Conor Gracey, Tom Gulland, Franco Perticaro, Nico Defeo, Allen Carr, Suva Ma’asi, Kaz Henderson, Will Moore, Shaquille Meyers. Subs: Tom Dougherty, Ben Young, Marius Andrijauskas, Aki Lea, Joe Lee.