Boro rue missed chances as D's capitalise on mistakes
Wellingborough entertained old foes Dunstable on Saturday.
A day which saw Boro sport a new shirt designed to raise money and increase awareness of the brilliant people from the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Service.
Changes to the Match Day squad included Charlie Baker back in the front row and Adam Lambert replacing Rob Owen in the back row. On the bench Adam Parker joined A Team skipper Andy Seaton.
A clever Boro kick off saw the ball kicked to the backs rather than the forwards and Steven Gall collected the ball before passing to his centre partner Paul Lambert both making inroads into the Dunstablians defence. A couple of well worked phases later and Pete Vickers broke through on the blindside to open the score (Boro 5v0 Duns). Straight from the next kick off Joel Smith sauntered through a gap in the defence and some great offloading play between the backs eventually broke with a knock on.
Some great defence from the back line saw Dunstablians prevented from getting a try in reply but further positive play saw Dunstablians awarded a penalty which they converted (Boro 5v3 Duns).
From the kick off Shaun Mackie collected the ball and after a couple of phases Ben Taylor made a half break but another knock on stopped any momentum. Dunstablians took full advantage and a clearance kick by them was not collected by Boro, the Dunstablians winger collected the loose pass and scarpered off down the wing to score the try which was then converted (Boro 5v10 Duns).
Straight away Boro pressurized Dunstablians and some quick wide passing after a couple of good phases saw Pete Vickers pass to Steven Gall who drew the defence in and released Tom Bryan to score the try bringing the scores level (Boro 10v10 Duns). Dunstablians started to tighten up their defensive play and one smash on Joel Smith (although he retained possession) could be heard in the back of the bar.
A box kick from Ben Taylor after some good defence saw Boro turnover the ball. Eventually the ball made itself out to Aiden McAvoy who skipped past the Dunstablians defence to put Boro into the lead, the try was converted by Pete Vickers (Boro 17v10 Duns). Again Boro collected the kick off and Kyle Danns, Chris Shipman and Adam Lambert made inroads into the Dunstablians half but a lack of composure saw the move come to a halt although a kickable penalty was awarded to Boro. However, rather than going for goal, Boro tapped the penalty but a lack of composure and a couple of wrong decisions saw the ball handed over to Dunstablians with the line at Boro’s mercy. Dunstablians noticing a hole in the Boro defence also quickly tapped the ball and set their winger free who ran the full length of the field to score a try which was then converted (Boro 17v17 Duns).
This try seemed to knock the confidence in the team and as a result any decent ball was knocked on and wrong decisions started to be made, players running without support, players slipping off first up tackles, offloads made that were not on. This lack of composure again resulted in another mistake which Dunstablians took full advantage of, again releasing their lightening winger into space to score the half’s final score.
Half Time: Wellingborough 17v22 Dunstablians
From the kick off Boro started to pressurize Dunstablians, a cross kick from Pete Vickers to Tom Bryan saw Tom nearly break through the defence. Further possession from Boro saw them push the ball wide but a sloppy final pass prevented the score. The pressure was starting to take its toll and a certain Tom Bryan try was prevented by a high tackle which saw the Dunstablians player sent to the bin. Again a quick tap penalty was taken by Pete Vickers to Kyle Danns who dragged Boro closer to the try line, a couple of phases later the ball made its way to Jon Cartwright who hauled himself over the line to score the try which was then converted (Boro 24v22 Duns).
Boro again went on the attack looking for another score to extend the lead where thwarted by an organised strong Dunstablians defence and set piece. Boro seemed to have the lion’s share of possession but indecision meant that no advantage could be taken. This then manifested into a lack of control resulting in a series of silly penalties being conceded allowing Dunstablians to keep Boro away from their 22.
Changes were made with the replacements coming on to try and gain some momentum and push Boro to extend their lead. Initially, this started to work with some good attacking play out wide and a Pete Vickers grubber kick nearly paying off. The ‘good’ play was patchy and intermingled with some disjointed elements such as forcing offloads, loose play around the rucks and a lack of continuity which meant that the Dunstablians hustling defence could target Boro and stop any momentum.
With the game in the balance both teams conceded penalties, both teams knew that one score could win the game but a lack of composure in attack saw the ball knocked on by both sides. An offence at a ruck with Boro on the attack saw a penalty awarded to Dunstablians and a yellow card shown to Liam Price to sit out the remainder of the match. The last couple of minutes Boro awarded another kickable penalty or at least a kick to touch but rather than kick it Boro ran the ball and Dunstablians took full advantage to isolate the Boro player and win a turnover, the advantage had swung back to Dunstablians and they slowly made their way into the Boro half and towards the Boro 22. Boro were penalised again and with Dunstablians allowed a free play a speculative drop goal was launched which sailed over the cross bar to give Dunstablians the lead and with it the game (Boro 24v35 Dunstablians).
Full Time: Wellingborough 24v25 Dunstablians
Pete Vickers 1 try; 2 cons
Tom Bryan 1 try
Aiden McAvoy 1 try
Jon Cartwright 1 try
So three games in and Boro sit third which looks good but it’s fair to say that there is a long way to go in terms of how the team can improve. Performance-wise this game highlighted this season’s current Achilles heels, a lack of composure and poor decision-making at crucial times - be it selecting the wrong type of penalty, standing too flat or too deep, throwing a wild pass etc.
With two weeks until the next first team game, it gives us the opportunity to address some of these issues in training through some hard work, the A team have a game next week and there is a definite opportunity for those that play to push themselves forward into the 1st team.