Rugby - Lions roaring again and Borough are pretty good too

Vernon Horne ran in a hat-trick of tries in the first half.
Vernon Horne ran in a hat-trick of tries in the first half.
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Peterborough Lions and Borough both enjoyed big wins in the English Clubs Championship this afternoon (March 7).

The Lions travelled to Bournville and won 41-10 to keep their National League Division Three promotion hopes alive while Borough eased their relegation worries in Midlands Division Two East (South) with a comprehensive victory over Stewart & Lloyds at Fengate.

The Lions were still missing half a dozen key players through injury and suspension but while South Leicester and Scunthorpe were able to exploit that in the two previous games, Bournville weren’t.

“It was another patched-up Lions side but while it was never easy, it was comfortable,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore.

“We had a few youngsters drafted in - players like Kaz Henderson and Dean Elmore - and all credit to them. They did well.

“Bournville had us under a bit of pressure for a while in each half but our old-heads like Adam Barnard, Chris Humphrey, Saad Sait and Gedis Marcisauskas held it together and we got what we came for - a win and a bonus point.

“All we can do now is keep winning and see where it takes us. If it gives us second place and a promotion play-off then all well and good. But to finish third or fourth in our first season in the National League would be pretty good as well.”

The Lions got off to a cracking start with lightning winger Vernon Horne scorching in for a try after just two minutes.

He crossed twice more in the first half and with another touchdown by Marcisauskas and three conversions and a penalty from Will Carrington, the city side led 29-0 at the turnaround.

Marcisauskas was sin-binned early in the second half but even with 14 men the Lions were able to assume control and they stretched the advantage to 41-0 with tries by Barnard and Arturius Balcunius, the latter having a fine game playing out of position in the second row. Carrington added one more conversion.

Bournville never stopped trying and their persistence paid off with two late consolation tries.

Borough meanwhile ran in five tries in a 31-10 win after a dominant second-half display and they did it despite losing star centre Rob Jacobs in the first half with a dislocated shoulder and having influential skipper Sam Crooks seeing out of one eye for three-quarters of the match.

Crooks, who started at number eight, received a poke in the eye after 20 minutes but returned to the fray sporting a patch and played in the centre.

And even playing with one eye and in an unaccustomed position, he proved more than a handful for relegation-threatened Stewart and Lloyds.

He scored one try himself in the second half and played a big part in the other two - scored by Joe Andresen and Chris Sansby.

In the first half, which ended 10-5 to Borough, there were tries for Jack Gunn and Sansby. Andresen was on target with three conversions.