There was heartbreak for Peterborough Lions in the English Clubs Championship today (February 21) but Borough were jumping for joy.
The Lions promotion hopes in National League Division Three suffered a setback as they went down 20-13 at Scunthorpe but Borough celebrated a 21-20 win at Olney to ease relegation fears in Midlands Division Two East (South).
The Lions arrived at Scunthorpe with a patched-up side due to a glut of injuries and unavailabilities and gave a very disjointed display overall.
“It was just one of those days when nothing seemed to click,” said disappointed chairman Andy Moore. “We got in good positions and then messed up. It was all very frustrating.
“Scunthorpe are a very good side. They were well organised and really up for it and nicked it with a try in the very last second. I think on reflection a draw might have been a fair result. At least we got a losing bonus point, which is better than nothing I suppose.”
The Lions had player/coach Darren Fox back in action after a month on the sidelines with an ankle injury, but even he couldn’t get the side firing on all cylinders.
They couldn’t penetrate a sound Scunhtorpe defence and at half-time it was 5-3 to Scunthorpe. They scored a try on 13 minutes and Will Carrington replied for the Lions with a penalty eight minutes later.
Another Carrington penalty gave Lions a 6-5 advantage early in the second half but Scunthorpe regained the lead at 8-6 with a successful kick of their own.
Wade Schoemann then powered his way through four defenders to score a fantastic try for the Lions, which Carrington converted, and the Lions were ahead 13-8 with 20 minutes remaining.
That gave the visitors a lift and they produced their best rugby of the match. It didn’t bring them any points mind you and when Scunthorpe squeezed in a touchdown of their own to make it 13-13, a draw looked to be the most likely outcome.
But Scunthorpe had other ideas and with the very last play of the game, they snatched the win with a try from a rolling maul.
It was also tight at Olney where Borough hit back in the second half to turn a 13-7 interval deficit into a one-point win.
Rob Jacobs was once again in impressive form in the centre for Borough and he smashed his way through for their first-half try, which was converted by Joe Andresen.
In the second half Borough gave a much more disciplined display and stopped conceding so many penalties. They also used a slight breeze advantage to good effect and they deservedly went 14-13 ahead when skipper Sam Crooks took a quick tapped penalty and barged over for a try converted by Andresen.
Then they extended that lead with 10 minutes to go as stand-off Andresen nipped in under the posts for a try converted by Jacobs.
Borough never looked like losing after that with Olney’s third try coming on the final whistle.