Lions suffer more injury woes but sign two quality players

Marius Andrijauskas has had a two-match ban quashed. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Marius Andrijauskas has had a two-match ban quashed. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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It’s been a good and bad news week for the Lions as they prepare for a crunch National League clash.

They travel to Scunthorpe on Saturday (November 7) desperate to end a poor run of form that has seen them slide down the Division Three table.

But hopes of seeing the return of powerful forwards Darrell Ball and John Harlock have been dashed.

Ball is back from a month playing for the Army in the Armed Forces World Cup but he’s returned with a knee injury. Harlock is also ruled out with a knee injury.

On a more positive note Marius Andrijauskas and Gedis Marcisauskas return to the fold from international duty with Lithuania while Saturday’s squad is also likely to include two new signings.

Del Veenendaal, an exciting young full-back who has played for England Counties Under 20s, has joined the Bretton-based club from Cambridge, while back row player Danny Hartwell, who was playing National League Division Two rugby with Shelford last season, has also joined the Lions.

There were fears that Adrijauskas would miss Saturday’s game after receiving a two-match ban from the East Midlands disciplinary committee last Thursday after he was cited by Old Northamptonians for punching an opponent in a match on October 3.

But Lions appealed against the decision and at an RFU disciplinary committee hearing on Tuesday night in Coventry the ban was quashed.

“The RFU committee, which consists of QCs and barristers and not rugby people, found there was no case to answer on the evidence submitted and I’ve got a smile on my face as big as a Cheshire cat,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.

“It’s been an up and down few days for the club but with the new signings we should have a decent side out against Scunthorpe - and I reckon we’ll need it because they can upset anyone in the league on their day.”

Borough meanwhile entertain Oakham in Midlands Division Two East (2.15pm kick-off) and will be keen to return to winning ways after losing their last three games.

“A couple of those games we should never have lost though,” said vice-chairman Archie Bennett.

“We were by far the better side but couldn’t translate our domination into points.

“We’ve been working on how to put that right in training and hopefully we can beat Oakham and get a winning run going again.

“Between now and Christmas we play a lot of the sides below us in the table so it’s a cruical period.”

George Offer, Rob Jacobs, Stuart Day, John Thompson and Rob Moulds are all set to return to the squad after injury.