It was a mixed afternoon (September 19) for Peterborough rugby with Borough winning well at home but the Lions coming unstuck away.
Borough made it two wins out of two in Midlands Division Two East with a 45-38 triumph against Lutterworth at Fengate but the Lions suffered a first defeat of the season in National League Division Three when going down 23-12 at Nuneaton.
The Lions had seven players missing and never really got going at all.
They were slow to start and conceded two early tries against a fiery Nuneaton XV.
The city side did get back into it after half-time as forward tries by Nico Steenkamp and debuant Tom Lewis plus a Will Carrington conversion reduced the deficit to 20-12 but that was as good as it got.
Nuneaton kicked a third successful penalty to secure a deserved triumph and they celebrated widely.
“Blimey, did they celebrate,” said Lions chairman Andy Moore. “You’d have thought they’d just won the Heineken Cup.
“That just showed how much they wanted it. They wanted to win it more than us and I’ve no complaints with the result.
“But we had one of those days when nothing seemed to go right. We never got out of the starting blocks and we certainly didn’t get the rub of the green as far as the referee’s decisions went.
“It’s a wake-up call for us. I’m not that despondent because I know off-days like this don’t happen to a good team very often. And we are a good team.”
There was a feast of tries at Fengate - 12 in all - with Borough scoring seven of them.
And they’d scored those seven touchdowns with just over an hour on the clock to lead 45-7.
It was effectively game over but Borough relaxed far too much. They didn’t just take their foot off the gas, they completely dozed off in the September sunshine.
And that allowed Lutterworth to run in four converted tries in the last 15 minutes and kick a penalty to snatch two bonus points.
Borough coach Lee Adamson will certainly have much to say about that. Another five minutes on the clock and his boys could well have thrown this game away.
There wasn’t a lot to choose between the two sides in the first half although Borough overcame the early sin-binning of skipper Sam Crooks to turn round 19-7 to the good thanks to tries by Adam Kimber, Chris Sansby and George Offer and two Joe Andresen conversions.
Kimber sprinted in from 50 yards out on his home debut after some enterprising play in defence by Sansby, Sansby went over for the second after impressive work by Sam Crooks, Stuart Day and Ryan Morris, while Offer crossed for the third following a lovely break by Andresen.
Four more tries arrived in quick succession after the interval to extend Borough’s lead to 38 points.
A dazzling 50-yard run by Morris paved the way for Ben Crooks to score the first, Sam Crooks powered over from close range for the second on the back of a great catch and drive by Cheyne Loades at a lineout, and then Sansby scooted in for the last two to complete his hat-trick.
The tally was completed by conversions from Andresen, Rob Jacobs and Harry Roe.
Then came that late Lutterworth fightback.