Boro head and shoulders above Tows
By Matt Armstrong
Week 11 sees Boro play Towcestrians
This week Boro welcomed Towcestrians under the lights on Friday, both teams were sitting comfortably in mid table but a win would see either team move into the top half. This week saw another settled selection with only a couple of changes, in the back row Billy Hyman and Joe Staden started, there were no changes elsewhere on the starting XV, however, the bench was changed with Alex Bean, Nathan Gardiner and Harry Bryan getting this weeks splinters.
The first half started with Boro getting some early possession of the ball and pushing the ball wide in attack, however, the first chance to score fell to Towcester as Boro offended at a ruck, however, the kick was pushed wide. The set pieces started off strongly with the scrum being particularly dominant and the lineout putting pressure on Towcestrians. The referee was trying to exert himself early on and both teams were making it easy for him by coming off their feet at rucks, this meant that the first moments of the half were quite scrappy. It took a strong run from Joe Staden just outside his own 22 to put Boro on the front foot, he burst through a number of tackles and carried the ball into the Towcestrians 22 before passing the ball to fellow back rower Billy Hyman who was dragged down with the try line at his mercy. It wasn't long before the chance came to Boro to take the lead but the penalty shot was pushed wide by Pete Vickers, however, he was given a chance to redeem himself and this time the penalty was put between the uprights (Boro 3v0 Tows).
Boro were now bossing the rucks and were awarded with another penalty but this was again pushed wide. Boro were soon back in the Tows 22, a long kick from Boro was cleared by Tows giving Boro the lineout. This time the ball was taken off the top and fired wide, a set play had been called and Steven Gall had come off his wing to collect the ball in the outside centre position and glided into the space before putting on the after-burners to dot the ball down for the try which was converted (Boro 10v0 Tows). Towcestrians soon attacked and this time some strong defence from Boro prevented the score but on their next attack the Boro team started to miss a couple of tackles and another ruck penalty was conceded which allowed Towcestrians to open their score (Boro 10v3 Tows). Boro were now finding that they had to dig deep to prevent a further score and it took a wide attack to relieve the pressure with Shaun Mackie breaking down the wing, however his pass went astray to Kieran Checkley and with that the half time whistle went.
Wellingborough 10 v 3 Towcestrians
The half started with Towcestrians on the front foot and as a result of a number of mistakes by Boro the opposition had a penalty shot to draw closer which was taken to bring them within one score (Boro 10v6 Tows). From the kick off Dan Sims won the ball and barged his way into the Towcestrians 22. The forwards and backs carried the ball forwards up to the try line, this left the blindside open and Pete Vickers took full advantage to score the try out wide on the right but the conversion was pushed wide (Boro 15v6 Tows). Boro were now back on top and a strong run Steven Gall saw Boro eventually receive a penalty, this time the offending Towcestrians player was sent to the sin bin. Eventually, another penalty was awarded to Boro and this time the kick was put into the Tows 22. The lineout was collected and a maul set up which progressed at speed to the Towcestrians 22, the referee spotted that maul was being stopped illegally and awarded Boro a penalty try (Boro 22v6 Tows).
Towcestrians were fighting to get back into the game and Boro found themselves sucked into a scrappy battle for the ball, however, it was Towcestrians who suffered the most with another player being sent to the sin bin taking them down to 13 players. However, Boro could not take advantage a series of good attacks were thwarted not necessarily by strong defence but quite often the wrong option of decision being made. This would come back to haunt Boro as Towcestrians started to take possession of the ball, but it was lucky bounce from an errant kick which saw a Towcestrians player break free to race in for a try (Boro 22v13 Tows). A well placed kick through was gathered by Tom Bryan and saw Boro win a penalty but Boro went for the scrum and this time some strong Towcestrians defence prevented the score. The referee was no losing his patience with both teams and Tom Bryan was sent to the sin bin along with his opposite number who unfortunately picked up his 2nd yellow card of the game. However, the action wasn't finished there as Matt Ellson and another Towcestrians player joined Tom Bryan after a bout of fisticuffs broke out on the far touchline. The final play of the game saw Towcestrians break down the left wing to score a try after a number of missed tackles (Boro 22v18 Tows).
Wellingborough 22 v 18 Towcestrians
A win is a win, but this game was a perfect chance for Boro to put a big score on an under-par Towcestrians team. There were at least four or five big chances butchered which would have given Boro the bonus point to really consolidate themselves in the top 6 instead the wrong option or decision was taken allowing Towcestrians to come away with an undeserved bonus point. Next week sees Boro entertain West Bridgford at Cut Throat Lane, on paper this is a tough game and as a result training this week is essential to iron out a number of issues.
On a positive note, its good to see that 15 of the 18 players in the squad had come through the Boro youth ranks!