Lions and Borough reach the halfway mark in decent nick

Semisi Sitanislei Tei races in for a try for the Lions against Bournville. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Semisi Sitanislei Tei races in for a try for the Lions against Bournville. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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Seconds out, round two . . . the English Clubs Championship has reached the halfway stage and Peterborough Lions and Borough have reasons to be cheerful.

The ambitious Lions want promotion from the Midlands Premiership and at the halfway point that’s very much within their sights .

Conor Gracey scores a try for the Lions against Bournville. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Conor Gracey scores a try for the Lions against Bournville. Picture: Mick Sutterby

They’re second in the table behind Birmingham and sitting in the promotion play-off spot.

Borough, promoted from Midlands Division Two, will be happy to consolidate at Division One level this season and they have reached the turn in a satisfying fourth place.

Both city sides were in rampant form on Saturday and both bounced back in style from double defeats.

The Lions roared from the word go against Bournville with Tom Gullands scorching in for a try after just two minutes.

They never looked back and added a further seven tries for a 56-29 victory.

Others to touch down in a very comfortable win were Semisi Sitanislei Tei, Conor Gracey, Dan Malem, Tom Lewis, Rory White, Kaz Henderson and Nico Defeo. Defeo kicked all eight conversions.

The only downside for the Lions was Sam Crooks picking up two yellow cards, which is technically a red, so he will face RFU disciplinary action. Tom Lewis was also sin-binned.

Lions chairman Andy Moore said: “It was so important to get back to winning ways after the defeats against Sandbach and Birmingham. We were fired up and I suppose Bournville were too. But at the end of the day we were just too strong for them.

“Now we need to keep that momentum going against Derby on Saturday.”

Derby are fifth in the table and have lost their last two games - 30-34 at Nuneaton and 23-19 at home to Newport.

Back in September Lions beat them at Bretton 31-17.

Borough also returned to winning ways in style against a team from the bottom half of the table.

They entertained Bugbrooke and they certainly did entertain, running in 13 terrific tries in a whopping 89-12 win.

The Borough backs, in particular the centre pairing of Reggie Reid and Michael Bean, were in menacing form.

South African Bean raced in for a terrific treble while ex-German international Reid glided over for two tries.

Others to cross were Joe Andresen, Mooki Tshepo-Olebile, Scott Mills, Jonno Anderson (2), Stuart Day, Sarel Pretorius and Nick Burkett. Andresen was successful with 12 of the 13 conversions.

In the same division Oundle were beaten 35-13 at home by Kettering and it’s Kettering who Borough face away this Saturday.

And that is a daunting trip on which to end the year.

Kettering were beaten 21-18 by Borough at Fengate back in September but haven’t lost since. They are second in the table are the only team to have beaten table-toppers Syston (17-5).

Oundle are away to winless Market Rasen on Saturday.

Spalding meanwhile enjoyed their most memorable win of the Midlands Three East (North) season on Saturday as they edged out second-placed Ashby 20-17 at the Memorial Field.

Tries from Jason Steels, Ashton Capes and George Douglas – plus a key penalty from Willis Ingleby – got the job done for Spalding.

Their fourth win of the season moves Spalding five points clear of the bottom two.