Lions promotion bid goes right down to the wire

Reggie Reid scored three tries.
Reggie Reid scored three tries.
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Peterborough Lions face a winner-takes-all finale in their last game of the National League Division Three Midlands season on Saturday.

They travel to Hinckley and after what promises to be a tight, tense 80-minute contest the victors will be heading north for a promotion play-off clash.

Before last weekend’s penultimate fixtures it looked very much as though Hinckley would claim the runners-up spot and the Lions would finish third. They were after all holding a six-point advantage over the Bretton boys.

But Old Halesonians had other ideas and a converted try in the dying seconds gave them a shock 17-10 win over Hinckley.

The Lions did what everyone knew they would do - they walloped whipping boys Dudley Kingswinford 87-24 - and the scene was set for a last-day decider at Leicester Road just off the M1.

“It’s unbelievable the way it’s panned out. It’ll be an absolute cracker of a match,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.

“We beat them 29-13 at our place on the opening day of the season but they’re a completely different team now.

“They have a big set of forwards but if we can match them up front then I believe our backs will clinch it for us.

“They have home advantage but we’ll have plenty of support as well. We’re taking at least two coachloads of supporters.

“It’s a massive game for both sides and certainly the biggest in our history.

“But whatever happens - win, lose or draw - I’ll still be over the moon with what we’ve achieved in our first season in the National League.

“We’ve by far exceeded my expectations.

“Playing for second place and a promotion play-off will cap off a wonderful year.”

The winners will play the runners-up in National League Division Three North and there’s a last-day decider in that division as well featuring Sale and Sandal.

The Lions promised their supporters a feast of tries in their last home game of the season against Dudley Kingswinford at Bretton Park and duly delivered.

They crossed for 13 tries with star full-back Reggie Reid claiming a first-half hat-trick.

The other 10 came from Vernon Horne (2), Chris Humphrey (2), Alexandros Ioannou - his first for the club, Duncan Low, Arturius Balcunius (2), James Mepham and Ramos Zokas with Will Carrington adding 11 conversions.

The only absentee on Saturday for the Lions will be injured prop forward Tom Laws. Player/coaches Darren Fox and Adam Barnard both return after missing the win over Dudley.

In Midlands Division Two East (South) Borough completed their 2014/15 programme with a 27-5 victory at Leicester Forest with tries by Stefan Gallucci, Chris Sansby (2), Harry Roe and Jack Dunn.