It’s been a great afternoon (December 19) for Peterborough rugby with both city sides chalking up convincing victories in the English Clubs Championship.
The Lions were at Newport and made it five wins from their last six National League Division Three outings by taking the honours 31-12 while Borough stormed to a whopping 67-8 triumph against Biggleswade in Midlands Division Two East at Fengate.
The Lions owed their success to a terrific 20-minute spell early in the second half when their forwards turned on the power to create three fabulous tries.
Adam Barnard, again standing in for the injured Will Carrington at fly-half, got the first of them after a mazy run that took him past three flat-footed Newport defenders and winger Kaz Henderson raced 40 yards to touch down for the second after great work by the dominant Lions pack.
The third try in that purple patch was a forwards try scored by prop Chris Cutts and after that there was no way back for Newport.
Those three tries, two of which were converted by Harry Winch, made the score 31-5 and it killed off the opposition.
They did apply a fair bit of pressure towards the end and grabbed a converted try five minutes from full-time but it was all too little too late.
The first half had been a much more even affair.
In the seventh minute Winch added the finishing touch to a lovely handling move by the Lions backs and converted the try himself, and second row Matt Dunn went over in the 31st minute after breaking from a maul 15 yards out.
Newport scored an uncoverted try of their own in between and it was 12-5 at the interval.
“It was another really good all-round performance and I’m chuffed to bits.The result was a great Christmas present,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.
“What really won it for us was that 20-minute spell at the start of the second half. Our forwards moved up a notch and we absolutely smashed them.
“Clearly we are doing something right at the moment. The youngsters we’ve taken on board are getting better and better every week. We appear to have turned the corner and I’m more than happy.”
It was all smiles from the hierarchy down at Fengate too as the Borough boys produced a Christmas cracker of a match.
They turned on the style in front of a decent crowd, running in a perfect 10 tries to record their biggest win for two years.
Biggleswade were stubborn for a start and there was nothing in it for half-an-hour.
But once Borough got their backs moving more freely, it soon became apparent that the visitors had no answer to the pace of centres Rob Jacobs and Adam Kimber and flying winger Chris Sansby.
Jacobs, making a welcome return to the side after a long lay-off with a shoulder injury, scored the first try on 29 minutes after latching on to a kick out of defence by Harry Roe and sprinting 70 yards to the try-line.
After that the floodgates opened. Sansby, so often starved of possession this season, saw much more of the ball today and cashed in with a hat-trick of tries.
Kimber galloped in for two with the other tries coming from Roe, Stefan Almond, Johnny Anderson and Graeme McWhinnie.
Roe completed the massive tally with a penalty and seven conversions.
The remarkable thing about Borough’s big win was that it was achieved with a patched-up side. Eight first-team regulars were injured or unavailable and coach Lee Adamson was forced to blood several second-teamers.
And on the evidence of today’s dynamic display they could be permanent fixtures in the first team.
One of the newcomers, Kyle Bratt, a soldier playing at openside, made a stunning first team debut and was easily the man-of-the-match. New scrum-half Graeme McWhinnie also caught the eye and second row Stefan Almond put in a splendid shift.