Peterborough Lions suffered their first defeat of 2016 when going down 13-5 at Old Halesonians in the West Midlands today (February 6).
The city side, unbeaten for two months in National League Division Three, were, according to their chairman Andy Moore, unlucky not to have come away with at least a losing bonus point.
“The game was played in the worst conditions I’ve ever come across,” said Moore. “The pitch was under water, it was bucketing down with rain and there was a 90mph gale howling straight down the pitch.
“It meant the game was confined to the forwards and that didn’t suit us at all. We like to bully sides up front and then release our backs but we couldn’t do that.
“The ball was like a bar of soap and the players were paddling about in water all afternoon - they couldn’t run. It was a great leveller.
“And we were so unlucky. They were awarded a penalty try at the very first scrum of the game, which I thought was a bit harsh and very unusual, and then they kicked two penalties from counter-attacks - the last one deep into injury-time.
“That denied us our losing bonus point which I thought we more than deserved.
“At least we scored the only proper try of the game.”
That try came early in the second half and was a solo effort from winger Vernon Horne, who chipped over the home defence and then won the race to the touchdown.
That made it 10-5 and it looked like staying that way until that late penalty.
The wind dictated which team dominated territorially. The Lions played against it in the first half and with it after the break.
“And I have to say both sides defended like trojans,” added Moore. “There was nothing in it really. The penalty try was all that separated the two teams. It was such a shame.”