Peterborough Lions made a flying start to the new season this afternoon (September 5).
The Bretton-based club are determined to win promotion from National League Division Three this term after narrowly missing out on the play-offs last season.
And they were well pleased with today’s opening clash at Longton. They won 42-12 and secured the bonus point for scoring four tries.
It took the new-look city side a while to get going - they led just 10-9 at the interval - but in the second half they asserted more authority on proceedings and were comfortable winners in the end.
Delighted chairman Andy Moore said: “Longton are a much improved side this season. They have strengthened well during the summer and in a very physical contest they put us under considerable pressure in the first half.
“But we’re much stronger as well. Our defence in particular was outstanding today. We stopped them scoring a try and knew it was only a matter of time before we’d start running in a few scores.
“It was tough, very tough, and we’ve taken some knocks. A few of the lads are limping but it will be a very happy bus-ride home.”
For the first quarter of the match most of the pressure was applied by Longton. But all they had to show for it was a penalty.
The Lions, however, crossed for a 26th-minute try - a cracker from 25 yards out by number eight Wade Schoeman - and with Will Carrington adding the conversion points to a penalty he’d kicked earleir, they led 10-3 with half-an-hour gone.
A bit of ill-discipline let Longton in for two more penalties just before the break and prompted Lions coach Darren Fox to deliver a fiery half-time team-talk.
It worked wonders. The Lions cut out the errors and suddenly started to look like a side intent on promotion.
Carrington slotted another penalty and then waltzed in for a try after a lovely pick-up-and-go from the base of a scrum by Chris Humphrey. Carrington’s conversion made it 20-9 but Longton responded with their fourth penalty.
A storming run by winger Vernon Horne set up a try for full-back Adam Barnard with just over an hour gone and that was really the turning point. Longton were on the back foot after that and the Lions ran in two more superb tries.
Harry Winch crossed for the first after an incisive break by Barnard and then Horne added his second after another blistering burst down the touchline. Carrington converted both of them and added another penalty for a 22-point haul.
Lions: Howard, Steenkamp, Cutts, Andrijauskas, Harlock, Ball, Schoeman, Humphrey, Searle, Carrington, Horne, Marcisauskas, Henderson, Winch, Barnard. Subs: Dunn, Docherty, Ioannou.