Boro give Kettering derby day blues
This weeks match saw Boro entertain Kettering at Cut Throat Lane, Boro were in desperate need to end their poor form and gather some momentum from the last matches of the season. There were a few changes with Andy Fordham and Jezz Brookes coming back into the pack. In the backs Ben Taylor started at scrum with Andy Seaton switching to wing and Tom Bryan coming back in after injury. The bench saw Jason 'isn't there anyone else available' Minney make an appearance, he was covering positions 1 to 15.
Straight from kick the referee imposed himself on the game, ensuring that any infringement at a ruck would be penalised. Boro conceded the first for not rolling away but soon found themselves attacking Kettering after some smart play from all, an offside penalty was awarded to Boro and Pete Vickers calmly slotted the ball between the posts for the lead (Boro 3v0 Kett). Unfortunately the opening couple of minutes took its toll on Craig Marshall who came off injured to be replaced by youngster Dan Pateman.
Kettering soon took control of the ball along with territory and it took some good defensive work to keep Kettering out. However, Boro kept falling foul to the referee's interpretation at the ruck and as a result Kettering could progress comfortably into the Boro 22. Defensively Boro were very strong flying into tackles and putting their bodies on the line, one good bit of defensive play saw Ryan Mackie turn over the ball allowing Boro to clear their lines.
Lineouts along with the scrum were functioning well but most prominent was Boro's wide defence which saw attacks thwarted, however, this constant pressure saw one too many infringements and the referee sent Pete Vickers to the bin for 10mins. Kettering took full advantage and tightened their attack and picked and went around the fringes of the ruck, Boro valiantly defended their line but the Kettering pack dived over for their first score which was converted (Boro 3v7 Ketts).
As the half drew too a close Boro managed to structure some good attacking play with Paul Lambert and Jason Minney carrying hard into the heart of the Kettering defence unfortunately a mistake saw the ball turned over. The half time whistle went with Boro attacking and although they were behind on the scoreboard this was one of the best halves of rugby from the team in the last few weeks
Wellingborough 3 v 7 Kettering
A poor kick off take from Boro saw them immediately put under pressure but again strong defence saw the ball turned over. However, more penalties conceded saw Dan Pateman sent to the sin bin. Kettering couldn't take advantage of the extra man and Boro now started to gain more possession and use the ball efficiently. This positivity was rewarded with a penalty awarded to Boro, Pete Vickers used the wind and kicked towards Rushden only for the wind to take the ball between the uprights to bring Boro within one point (Boro 6v7 Kett).
With the forwards now carrying the ball, in particular Andy Fordham and Chris Shipman ably supported by the rest, then Boro started to make hard yards into Kettering's half. The referee this time spotted a Kettering infringement and duly sent their player to the bin, Boro however missed the opportunity to take the lead as the kick was pushed wide. Boro were soon awarded with another attempt after a searing break from Jezz Brookes and this time Pete Vickers slotted the ball between the uprights to give Boro a well deserved lead (Boro 9v7 Kett).
Kettering realising that the game was slipping away from Boro started to up their intensity but this met with fierce resistance from a resolute Boro defence. However, an infringement saw Kettering given the chance to go for goal but the ball was knocked wide. Again and again Boro's defence held strong and one turnover saw Mark Bartlem sprint/waddle up the pitch for a good 10 yards to alleviate the pressure.
The final moments of the game saw the inevitable derby day fracas, this time it was Joel Smith sent to the bin along with his fracas counterpart from Kettering, inevitably the trouble started after veteran Rob Armstrong appeared on the pitch. Both sides realised that time was nearly up so scrapped for the ball and inevitably it was Boro who were awarded with a penalty with 30 secs to go, after a couple of rucks Boro cleared to touch for the win.
Wellingborough 9 v7 Kettering
After 7 losses on the bounce it was going to need a performance of some magnitude to win against a team sat in fourth and the players certainly delivered, although it wasn't a game for the purists Boro showed tremendous heart to win this match. The team was effectively down to 14 men for 25 plus minutes of the game but showed resilience to prevent Kettering from extending their lead.
Training this week is only on Tues along with Jay being present for any physio needs, would be great to get some good numbers there so that we can work on some extra aspects for the Paviors game in two weeks.