There was another National League defeat for Peterborough Lions today (October 27) but they could so easily have pulled off a famous victory.
They were away at Sedgley Park in Greater Manchester and were only just beaten 31-29 by a side occupying fourth place in the National League Two North table. The Lions are bottom.
“And if there had been another five minutes to go we would have won. I’m convinced of that,” said Lions director of rugby Simon Moyle.
“We were terrific in the second half and showed we can compete at this level. We took two bonus points away from today’s game plus many positives.
“Everybody grafted hard today. There were some outstanding performances but it was a great team effort.”
Lions chairman Andy Moore added: “Sedgley Park were praising us so highly afterwards. They couldn’t believe we were bottom of the league.”
There was nothing in it after 20 minutes and the Lions had certainly matched their opponents during that opening quarter.
But then Sedgley Park slammed in three tries in 11 minutes to lead 21-0 after 31 minutes.
“We had a couple of refereeing decisions go against us and didn’t deserve to be 21-0 down. But that’s what happens when you are struggling. You don’t get the rub of the green,” said Moyle.
The Lions got one try back - scored by Tom Lewis after a stunning break by Nico Defeo - and it was a flattering 21-5 to Sedgley at the turnaround.
Then came the Lions best rugby, some of the best they’ve produced all season.
They got the bit between their teeth and closed the gap to 21-15 with a try by Shaquille Meyers and a conversion and penalty from Ben Young.
But then a 10-minute spell of Sedgley superiority brought them two quick tries and they stretched their lead to 31-15 with 14 minutes left.
In past weeks the Lions have capitulated in that situation. But not today. They were determined to get something out of the game and refused to lie down.
They came roaring back with two more tries - the first scored by Christian Edbrooke, his first for the club, and the second by Alex Ioannou. Both were converted by Young and the gap had been narrowed to 31-29.
But just as Sedgley Park were beginning to look a little worried, time ran out for the Lions to complete their comeback.