McAvoy-er the Destroyer with try in win
The second league game of the season saw Wellingborough travel to Oval Park, home of Oadby and the training ground for some other team.
In recent years this has often proven to be a tricky fixture for Boro and would require a much better performance than the previous week to ensure the victory. There were a few changes to the Match Day squad with Aiden McAvoy making his first team league debut on the wing, Rob Owen started in the back row and Kyle Danns and Mark Bartlem were promoted from the bench to the starting line-up. On the bench Charlie Baker was joined by another two debutants in Liam Price and Edward Johnson.
Oadby kicked off to Boro and immediately Boro put themselves under pressure with a knock on, however, pressure from Ben Taylor on the Oadby 9 saw the ball turned over. The early moments of the match saw some Boro possession and some ambitious play saw Boro make some progress out wide. However, this early possession came to nothing and Oadby were awarded a kickable penalty with their first attack into the Boro half which was subsequently missed.
Back came Boro through some good inter-play between backs and forwards with Shaun Mackie and Joel Smith making some yards ably supported by Paul Lambert. However, a couple of mistakes saw the momentum swing to Oadby who attacked around the fringes of the ruck making progress into the heart of the Boro defence, however, the defence held but a penalty was awarded to Oadby which was converted (OWs 3v0 Boro).
The restart was immediately gathered by Shaun Mackie and this set off a series of forays into the Oadby defence with Pete Vickers and Ben Taylor supplying quality ball to the forward runners. This Boro pressure eventually took its toll on Oadby and a penalty was awarded for an infringement at a ruck. This was put into the corner as Boro backed themselves to score the try. From the lineout Boro organised a forwards drive to the Oadby line, once this broke down Mark Bartlem and then Joel Smith drove the ball on further so that the line was in reach, a quick pass from the ruck saw Pete Vickers identify a gap in the defence and he scored the try which he then converted (OWs 3v7 Boro).
The next restart saw Boro fumble the ball and straight away Oadby went on the attack putting the Boro defence under pressure, some great defence from Chris Shipman, Paul Lambert and Pete Vickers prevented Oadby from scoring as the ball was held up. However, from the next scrum the Oadby back row broke and powered over the line to retake the lead (OWs 10v7 Boro).
The next moments of the half saw both sides awarded penalty kicks at goal, Boro’s chance was a good 45 yards out and was missed but the Oadby attempt was a lot nearer and they extended their lead (OWs 13v7 Boro). A turnover from a scrum moments later saw Boro advance into the Oadby 22 but this attack was to prove short lived, however, back came Boro through Ryan Mackie who made a scintillating break before passing to Chris Shipman, again the attack broke down. A penalty was awarded to Boro in the Oadby 22 as the pressure started to grow, this was tapped and the ball made its way to Tom Bryan who proved deadly from 5 yards out, but rather than his normal walk in he wrestled and twisted his way through four Oadby players to score a try in the corner, the conversion was missed (OWs 13v12 Boro).
Half Time: Oadby Wyggestonians 13v12 Wellingborough
Straight from the half time kick off Oadby progressed in to the Boro 22 but some great defence and a booming clearance from Ryan Mackie saw Boro put the pressure back on Oadby. A penalty for offside saw Boro awarded a long range penalty which was missed. It wasn’t long before Boro attacked again and Ryan Mackie made progress into the heart of the Oadby defence, from the next ruck the ball made its way down the blindside and a sublime grubber kick from Pete Vickers was collected by a rampaging Kyle Danns who drew the last defender before passing to Steven Gall who strolled in for a rare non-intercept try. The try was converted (OWs 13v19).
Boro now had their tails away and it wasn’t long before they were awarded a penalty for Oadby infringing at the scrum, again it was a difficult kick which was missed. Back came Boro and this time the ball went wide down the left and Steven Gall fed the ball to Aiden McAvoy who with his first real opportunity with the ball in hand zoomed down the left hand side and was stopped from scoring by the tackling of three Oadby players, this pressure was causing Oadby to offend and the referee produced a yellow card to send an Oadby player to the bin for 10 mins.
As the 2nd half progressed Boro’s fitness started to tell and mismatches were identified and taken advantage of, again another penalty was awarded to Boro, this was approximately 48 yds out but the kick drifted slightly wide with the post being brushed by the ball. The drop out from Oadby was collected by Boro and Steven Gall was released into space and he made inroads into the defence, the ball was recycled and spun left, although two forwards stood in the way, Charlie Baker and Chris Shipman, both drew their opposite defender and released Aiden McAvoy into space who raced for the corner to score a try on his debut in the corner (OWs 13v26 Boro).
The attacking play from Boro was relentless but a couple of opportunities went begging out wide, however, one attack saw a penalty awarded to Boro in front of the posts which Pete Vickers duly kicked to extend Boro’s lead (OWs 13v29 Boro).
The collective foot was taken off the pedal and OWs took advantage by launching a series of attacks but some awesome defence from Boro in particular the forwards saw the OWs attack repelled. The strain on the defence did take its toll and Matt Ellson was shown a yellow card for infringing at a ruck. However, the defence held strong but with the one man advantage and some good close combative play Oadby squeezed over for a try (OWs 18v29 Boro) with the final whistle not far away. The final play saw Boro back in the Oadby half but a snap drop goal attempt went wide and the whistle was blown.
Full Time: Oadby Wyggestonians 18v29 Wellingborough
Pete Vickers 1 try; 3 cons; 1 pen
Tom Bryan 1 try
Steven Gall 1 try
Aiden McAvoy 1 try
This was a tough encounter against a strong Oadby team so to come out with a win and a try bonus was something to be proud of. It wasn’t an 80 min performance from Boro but it was definite step forward from the previous week.
Rugby can be quite a simple game when things click in to place, and Boro demonstrated this in the early part of the second half but some elements of the game still need to be worked on which is why training is crucial this week. However, two games gone and two wins is not something to be sniffed at and the team go into next week’s game full of confidence and hope to extend it to three.