Peterborough Lions kept their promotion hopes alive with a bonus-point win over Bromsgrove at Bretton Park today (March 21).
They took the honours 28-10 and star of the show was once again strong-running winger Vernon Horne.
Horne stormed in for a hat-trick of tries in the Lions’ last game at Bournville a fortnight ago and he grabbed another terrific treble today.
It was by no means a polished performance by the Lions though and they made a huge amount of unforced errors. Their handling in paricular left a lot to be desired.
But they were up against formidable opposition and going into the game Bromsgrove themselves were also very much still in the race to finish second behind South Leicester in National League Division Three and earn a promotion play-off.
Hinckley hold second spot, six points clear of the Lions with three games to go, and on the final day of the season the Lions are away to Hinckley.
Lions chairman Andy Moore said: “We’re still in there with a chance of a promotion play-off and that’s a great effort for our first season at National League level.
“It wasn’t a great game today and we owed success to a fantastic 10-minute spell just before half-time when we snatched three tries. That was really our only good time all afternoon.”
Lions, with the strong breeze behind them, dominated the first half-an-hour but solid defensive play by the visitors kept them at bay until the 32nd minute.
That’s when the first of Horne’s three tries arrived. He sprinted in from 30 yards out after a telling break by Saad Sait and good counter-attacking by Reggie Reid and Gedis Marcisauskas.
Two minutes later and Horne was over again. This time he glided gracefully past two Bromsgrove defenders to finished off a move started in the Lions 22 by Will Carrington in which Adam Barnard and Wade Schoeman were prominent.
On the stroke of half-time the Lions won a lineout on halfway and Chris Humphrey broke free to burst 30 yards before sending Dean Elmore scurrying in under the posts.
Carrington converted all three tries to make it 21-0 at the break.
Bromsgrove threatened to make a comeback as they gained the upperhand territorially for 20 minutes in the second half and reduced the deficit to 21-10.
But on 73 minutes Horne settled the issue when he was up in support of a kick-and-rush counter by Schoeman and scooped up a loose ball to gallop in unopposed.
Carrington, who played very well at stand-off, added his fourth conversion.
In Midlands Division Two East (South) meanwhile Borough were beaten 24-5 at title-chasing Biggleswade.
Borough, and in particular their pack well marshalled by Ben Crooks, acquitted themeslves well during an even first half and it was just 3-0 to Biggleswade at the turnaround.
But two quick tries by the home side in the second half, when Borough had been reduced to 10 men by the sin-binning of George Offer, turned the game.
Borough’s consolation try was scored by Adam Whiles.
Half-backs Harry Roe and Tom Williams and front row forwards Aaron Thorne and Sithenkosi Fivana caught the eye.