Deepings captain Lance Charity has marked down Sileby Town as title challengers after a sobering defeat at Platts Lane.
The Green Machine found themselves 14-0 down at half-time, not helped by Charity’s men giving away nine penalties, compared to just two for the Vikings.
But two tries in the second half by Deepings lock James Clark gave them the chance of at least picking up a bonus point for losing by a maximum of seven points.
Charity said: “In the first half, we gave away nine penalties and Sileby Town scored twice, both tries being converted.
“But in the second half, we conceded five penalties and they conceded seven, compared to just two in the first half.
“Most of Sileby’s points came from lineouts and scrums, but we scored three tries in the second half.
We expected to win but a few people thought Sileby Town would be an easier game than it was after we lost by a point there at the end of last seasonLance Charity, Deepings RFC 1st XV captain
“The first try was straight from the kick off when we got possession and gave it to James Clark who scored.
“Then the second try came from a chip over the 22-metre line, Guy Cunningham put pressure on their full back who knocked the ball on and James scored.”
Those chances were improved further when tight-head prop Gareth Silverwood capitalised on a Sileby penalty when, from a five-metre lineout, the forwards kept possession to allow their former skipper to crash over.
Charity said: “There were about three phases where the forwards keep picking the ball up and driving forward before Gareth scored.
“But the pitch was really short and it caught us out a few times when we thought we’d crossed the try line.
“We expected to win, but we had to play a few people out of position and drag in a few old heads because of players missing.
“There were also a few young players as well that I wouldn’t have wanted in the starting XV ideally.
“We all stepped up, but we lost the match in the lineouts and scrums, as well as giving away far too many penalties.”
Former Green Machine 1st XV skipper Cunningham played despite carrying a broken thumb and Deepings also handed a senior debut to ex-Spalding under-17 flanker and a member of Town’s NLD (Notts, Lincs and Derbys) Under-17 Cup Final XV Fraser Leiper.
Charity said: “He played well and made his tackles.
“But Fraser’s still stepping up to senior rugby where he’ll learn a lot.
“Sileby Town had a gameplan to utilise the lineouts and every time we gave away a penalty, they mauled and we didn’t know what to do.
“I think Sileby are the team who will put pressure on Bedford Swifts at the top of the league this season, whilst we just need to think smarter.”
Next week, Deepings host South Kesteven rivals Stamford College Old Boys in what could be a tasty derby encounter at Linchfield Road.
Ex-Old Boys full back Aram Jones, who missed the trip to Sileby Town, is expected back to make his league debut for the Green Machine against his former team-mates with whom he lifted the NLD Intermediate Cup last season.
Charity said: “We’ll have a much bigger squad to pick from, but we just need to think smarter and not look too far ahead of the team we’re playing next.”
DEEPINGS: O’Connell, Green, Silverwood, Hayward, Clark, Cannell, Leiper, Trotman, Charity, Young, Squires, Pound, Morton, Edwards, Robertson. Subs: Bell, Harding, Barnes, Cunningham, Whayley.