Peterborough Lions went from ‘rubbish’ to ‘superb’ before falling just short against promotion favourites

Peterborough Lions staged a superb second-half fightback, but just came up short against Midlands Division One East promotion fancies Kettering at Bretton Park on Saturday (September 11).

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 1:59 pm
Peterborough Lions head coach Josh Walker plays a pass in the game against Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby.

Lions were ‘rubbish’ in the first-half and reached the interval 19-0 down.

But they played so well in the second-half Kettering were grateful to esacpe with a 31-26 minute victory. Even their own officials reckoned another five minutes of play would have seen a home win.

Lions chairman Andy Moore said: “I don’t think Kettering could believe how rubbish we were in the first half, but by the end of the game they were praying for the final whistle.

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Vincent Mannese on his way tp a try for Peterborough Lions against Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby.

“With five quality players still yet to play and our other new players and coaches till bedding in, we are not overly concerned. Teams need to make hay against us while the sun shines as it’s a long season.”

For the second week running Lions had to field new players due to a growing injury list and Kettering took full advantage of the obvious lack of a coherent game plan to dominate the opening 40 minutes.

But the second half saw Lions rearrange their side whilst strengthening their back line and the result was immediate with winger Vincent Mannase scoring from a 50m breakaway which was converted by Samuel Dumigan.

However, Kettering came straight back with a converted try to make the score 7-26.

Michael Klely-Goburwang scoring one of his two tries against Kettering. Photo: Mick Sutterby.

With 30 minutes left the 200+ crowd wondered if this was it for the Lions, but Michael Kelly-Goburwanga ran in from distance and once again Dumigan converted for 14–26.

Although Lions were starting to dominate in every area, showing a completely different level of competence from the first half, Kettering scored the last of their points with an unconverted try for 14–31.

But Lions then completely took over the game and with 15 minutes to go, 20-year-old number eight Lewis College showed skill and strength to burst through the Kettering defence and Dumigan’s conversion made the score 21–31.

Further pressure led to another try from Kelly-Goburwang, but the conversion was agonisingly missed to leave Lions five points short at the final whistle.

Lions travel to Lutterworth for a Division One East match on Saturday (September 18).


Oundle were well beaten 54-29 by Newport (Salop) in their debut home game in the Midlands Premier Division.

Oundle have lost both of their top-flight matches so far, but they will be encouraged by five tries scored by Luke Sharpley, Craig Tandy, Robert Shingles, Robert Cardell and Conor Gracey.

Tandy kicked two conversions for Oundle who travel to Nuneaton on Saturday.