MIDLANDS FOUR EAST SOUTH: Bedford Swifts 30 Deepings 22
Deepings start a two-week break from competitive action with their fourth place in the league intact, despite a narrow defeat at Bedford Swifts.
It’s so close, with four teams within three points of each other, so it would have been nice to have won at Bedford SwiftsDeepings 1st XV skipper Guy Cunningham
The absence of several key players, including second row forward Oli Peacock and outside centre Dan Young, plus the loss of openside flanker Michael Harrison to injury early on at Swifts caught up with the Green Machine as they attempted to win all four league games in January.
Windy conditions also played a part in the contest at Barkers Lane where seven tries were scored in the first half.
Club captain Guy Cunningham, predecessor Gareth Silverwood, winger Chris Owen and promising wide man Kelvin Squires more than made it a contest against a side Deepings beat 30-19 at Linchfield Road last October.
Cunnigham said: “It was a really good game and a really open match, but a lack of defence in the first half cost us and Swifts pipped it in the end.
“In the second half, we couldn’t get close enough to their try line and we had the wind against us as well.
“But we got a bonus point for our four tries and our forwards played brilliantly, with flanker Phil Trotman finally getting the man of the match award he’s deserved for a few weeks.”
With just six games left to play between February 13 and April 16, Deepings know their final position in Midlands Four East (South) will partly depend on the outcome of games they will have no say in at all.
Two of the sides below them, Thorney (fifth), and Wellingborough (seventh) have a game in hand, while eighth-placed Sileby Town are ten points behind the Green Machine, but having played three games less.
Cunnigham said: “It’s so close, with four teams within three points of each other, so it would have been nice to have won at Swifts.
“But we’ve had a good start to the year, gaining 15 points in January, and trying to keep fourth place was always going to prove difficult with the teams around us having games in hand.”
Another problem is the news that 1st XV vice captain and talismanic full back Steve Corrigan is out for the season through injury, along with fitness doubts over Harrison, Josh Gibb, hooker Ali Shaw and inside centre Dan Hainsworth.
“The two weeks we have off are a good thing so that the injuries can sort themselves out,” Cunnigham said.
“But they have also given the others and opportunity to play.
“If we can get a consistent team out who trains and puts their minds to it, a fourth place finish to the season is possible.”