There was another fine win for Peterborough Lions in the English Clubs Championship this afternoon (January 28).
The Bretton-based club completed the double over Towcestrians with a 33-24 victory in Northamptonshire, a result that keeps them fifth in the National League Division Three table.
Lions travelled with confidence high after putting together an eye-catching run of results - eight wins and a draw from their last 10 games.
But, after losing Andrew Dewdney in the warm-up with a pulled hamstring, worse was soon to follow.
They made a jittery start and allowed Towcester to slam in two early tries for a 12-0 lead after just seven minutes. This match certainly wasn’t going to form.
However, they refused to press the panic button and by half-time had drawn level.
With Chris Humphrey, Darren Fox and Ben Howard leading the charge, Lions gradually began to apply some muscle against very strong opponents and twice hooker Jack Lewis dived over for tries from a maul formed from a lineout. Will Carrington added the extras for one of the tries.
Six minutes into the second half and Lions hit the front for the first time as Arturius Balcunius crossed for a try converted by Carrington, again from a maul after a lineout.
Towcester edged it back to 19-17 five minutes later before scrum-half Tom Dougherty raced in under the posts for a bonus-point score after winger Kaz Henderson had done the donkey-work to pinch possession with a thumping tackle.
Then with 10 minutes to go Lions were rocked by a double sin-binning. Fox and Marius Andrijauskas both received yellow cards and the Lions were forced to play the last 10 minutes with only 13 men.
Towcester cashed in to nick a converted try to narrow the gap to 26-24 but in the last minute Henderson calmed the nerves in the Lions camp with a runaway interception try. Carrington added the conversion.
Simon Moyles, the Lions director of rugby, was full of praise for his players.
He said: “Sometimes you have to win ugly and today we won ugly. Good sides need to do that now and again.
“I thought we did really well to get back in it after conceding the two tries early on. The players deserve a lot of credit for that. And, yes it was a bit scary at the end but again our maturity shone through.
“It was a tough game. Towcester are a very strong side.”