They did it! Peterborough Lions just managed to shade the honours in their ‘must-win’ clash at Solstice Park this afternoon (November 24).
They emerged narrow 14-12 victors against Macclesfield in the battle of the National League Two North basement boys at Bretton but boy did they make hard work of it.
They were quite dreadful in the first half and were lucky to turn round just 12-0 in arrears. Macclesfield were by far the better side - sharper all over the pitch and much more adventurous - and they battered away at the Lions try-line for almost the entire 40 minutes.
Only twice did the lacklustre Lions venture into the opposition 22.
In fact, the performance by the home team was so poor that chairman Andy Moore took himself off to man the burger bar for an hour!
Yet, whatever was said at half-time did the trick. The Lions re-emerged with far more fire in their bellies and played a much tighter and ultimately more effective game.
And at the end of an extremely tight tussle their physical superiority won the day as they crossed for two tries by the forwards - Christian Edbrooke grabbed the first on the hour-mark and then Tom Lewis clinched it with the second 10 minutes from the end.
Both were scored under the posts presenting Ben Young with two simple, but very crucial, conversion kicks.
Moore, at last with a smile on his face, said: “A win’s a win and we will all feel much better tonight. I didn’t see a lot of the game but we certainly finished the stronger of the two teams. We never gave up and now it’s important we build on this result.”
Macclesfield were quicker in thought and deed in the first half and the only plus points in a tame Lions showing were Conor Gracey’s good work at the lineout, Franco Perticaro’s all-round flair and energy at scrum-half and the industry of second row giant Lewis.
A clean catch at a lineout by skipper Gracey set up the first try. Several drives for the line followed, with Aki Lea getting within a foot of a touchdown before Edbrooke managed to power his way over.
The second try arrived in similar fashion. This time Lewis won the lineout and Charley Robinson, Gracey and Marius Andrijauskas all went close before Lewis drove over.
Wild celebrations in the stand and on the pitch greeted the final whistle. It was after all only Lions’ second win from 12 matches.
They remain bottom of the pile but are now level on points with Macclesfield.
Lions: Josh Waller, Charley Robinson, Alex Ioannou, Christian Edbrooke, Tom Lewis, Jack Askham, Conor Gracey, Aki Lea, Franco Perticaro, Nico Defeo, Allen Carr, Suva Ma’asi, German Luhrs, Will Moore, Ben Young. Subs: Tom Dougherty, Joe Lee, Marius Andrijauskas, Alex Hales, Shaquille Meyers.