Peterborough Lions’ National League days are numbered

Lions hooker Jack Askham is collared by a Tynedale opponent. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Lions hooker Jack Askham is collared by a Tynedale opponent. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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Peterborough Lions chief Andy Moore says he’s already planning for next season . . . in the Midlands Premiership.

The club chairman admitted after Saturday’s latest National League Two loss up in Tynedale that his side were doomed after just one season playing at Level 4.

Sonoma Veikune scored the Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Sonoma Veikune scored the Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

With seven games remaining, they still have a chance mathematically of making it out of the relegation zone (the bottom three go down), but Moore knows it won’t happen.

He admitted: “We’re punching a little bit above our weight at this level. It’s been far tougher than expected as everybody can see from the results and our position in the league table.

“But we’ve not been hammered week in week out. We’ve won four games and we’ve given the top teams a run for their money.

“We know this is where we want to be and we’ll be back - only next time we’ll be better prepared.

Tom Lewis on the charge for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Tom Lewis on the charge for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

“This season has been one big learning curve for us and we know there’s lots of work to be done both on and off the field.

“We’re already planning for next season and another Midlands Premiership challenge. Some players we lost at the end of last season could be coming back.

“But for the time being we’re a National Two side and proud of it. We’re here on merit and will continue to make it as tough as possible for the oppposition in all our remaining fixtures.”

Several key players - skipper Conor Gracey, full-back Ben Young and scrum-half Tom Dougherty - missed the 216-mile trip to Tynedale in Northumberland but will be back for this weekend’s game away to fifth-placed Otley.

Back in November, Otley were 26-10 winners at Bretton.

After a week off, Borough and Oundle return to Midlands Division One action on Saturday with home games against sides in the bottom half of the table. Borough facing Wellingborough (2.15pm) and Oundle entertain Leighton Buzzard.

n Stamford saw their hopes of reaching the final of the NLD Shield dashed on Saturday after a 19-23 home defeat against higher level Newark in their last-four clash.

Newark are placed one league higher than Stamford in Midlands Two East (North).

Bourne booked their place in the final of the Notts, Lincs & Derby Cup by beating North Hykeham 33-20.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

SATURDAY MARCH 2

ENGLISH CLUBS CHAMPIONSHIP

National League Division Two North: Otley v Peterborough Lions.

Midlands Division One (East): Oundle v Leighton Buzzard, Peterborough v Wellingborough.

Midlands Division Two East (South): Huntingdon v Vipers.

Midlands Division Three East (South): Dunstablians v Bourne, Queens v Stamford.

Midlands Division Three East (North): Nottingham Moderns v Spalding.

Midlands Division Four East (South): Stamford College Old Boys v Thorney.

London Division Three Eastern Counties: Ipswich Y.M. v Wisbech.