Plenty of effort but the Lions are outclassed

Shaquille Meyers scores the Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby
Shaquille Meyers scores the Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby
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It was the same old story at Solstice Park, Bretton, this afternoon (February 2) as Peterborough Lions huffed and puffed their way through another 80 minutes of National League Two rugby but had nothing to show for their efforts.

High-flying Lancashire outfit Fylde, a first-class senior club not so long ago, were the visitors to ‘The Den’ and they went home with a 38-7 win - a result that took them to the top of the table and left the Lions firmly rooted to the bottom.

Tom Dougherty set up the Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Tom Dougherty set up the Lions try. Picture: Mick Sutterby

They were by far and away the superior side in the first half and after crossing for a try as early as the third minute a rout looked to be on the cards.

But the Lions, although on the back foot for the whole of the opening 40 minutes, at least defended with vigour and Fylde managed to add just one more try before the break and turned round 17-0 up.

Hopes of a Wales-type comeback were quickly dashed as Fylde raced in again at the start of the second period for a 24-0 advantage.

What followed for the next half-an-hour though warmed the Lions supporters on a bitterly cold afternoon. A try scored by Shaquille Meyers after a nippy break by Tom Dougherty and converted by Ben Young fired them up a level and they were more than a match for the visitors.

Dean Elmore on the attack for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Dean Elmore on the attack for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

They were much more lively and in fact looked the more likely to score. They made good ground with frequent raids through the middle and down the flanks but couldn’t get the ball over the try-line.

Then with five minutes remaining Fylde twice broke from deep to snatch two late converted tries.

“That’s been the story of our season - we can battle with the best of them but just can’t score the tries,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.

“People don’t realise how big a jump it is from the Midlands Premier Division to the National League - it’s massive. Some of the club’s at this level have huge wage bills. It’s a professional league.

Ben Young on the run for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

Ben Young on the run for the Lions. Picture: Mick Sutterby

“But whatever happens at the end of the season this is the league we want to be in. The performances we have put in over the last few weeks suggest we are not a bottom side but one that can compete at this level.”

Lions: Joe Lee, Jack Askham, Josh Waller, Christian Edbrooke, Will Nankevil, Tom Lewis, Dean Elmore, Conor Gracey, Franco Perticaro, Ben Young, Kaz Henderson, Nico Defeo, Shaquille Meyers, Ben Peach, Allen Carr. Subs: Tom Dougherty, Martin Lewis, Tom Gulland, Marius Andrijauskas, Scott Jackowski.