Friday Night Lights, Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!
Wellingborough welcomed Market Harborough to Cut Throat Lane for a Friday night game under the new floodlights.
Once the formalities had been completed the teams were ready for kick-off.
Boro kicked off and straight away Harborough fielded a loose kick with their winger streaking down the left wing to dot the ball down in the corner to shock the watching crowd. However, Boro reacted straight away with John Cartwright leading the charge by driving the ball into the heart of the Harborough defence, the ball was fed to Tom Mair who galloped down the left wing only for the move to break down.
It wasn’t long before Boro answered back and they did in style with Luke Gardiner hitting the line hard after a set play was called, he crashed through the Harborough defence to score under the posts leaving Pete Vickers with an easy kick to draw Boro level. Boro had the upper hand in the scrum and as a result this meant that Chris Shipman could be released into space and the opportunity to make inroads into the Harborough half. One scrum saw Chris Shipman pick up and then forwards took it in turns to pick and go, finally the ball made its way to Craig Marshall who battered his way over to give Boro the lead, 12v7.
With the momentum firmly with Boro they kept attacking the Harborough line through the pack, again the driving play from all the forwards was hurting Harborough but it took the full back, Ryan Mackie, to show the forwards how to get over the line by twisting and turning and dotting the ball down to score another try which was then converted to extend the Boro lead, 19v7.
Boro made a mistake from the kick off and Harborough were awarded with a penalty which they converted to bring them within 9 points. Harborough started to gain a foothold on the Boro half but a great kick and chase from Ryan Mackie saw Boro move straight back into the Harborough 22. A great driving maul from the forwards saw Boro push the Harborough pack, then a break from scrum half Ben Taylor with Adam Lambert in support saw Boro move within 5m of the Harborough line. Matt Ellson stepped into first receiver and fired the ball wide to Tom Mair to put Boro 2 scores in front just before half time.
The second half saw Boro push Harborough back into their own 22 but a series of knock-ons saw any pressure relieved but every time Harborough threatened. The conditions started to play their part as the temperature dropped and the ball became difficult to control but these handling errors were affecting both sides. Boro kept making half breaks one break saw Pete Vickers nearly make it through only for the play to break down.
Tempers started to fray as both teams couldn’t turn any positive play into points, and a bout of fisticuffs saw a Harborough player sent to the bin. Boro couldn’t take advantage of the extra player and it was Harborough who scored the only points of the half with it drawing to a close.
Wellingborough 24v17 Market Harborough
Luke Gardiner 1 try
Craig Marshall 1 try
Ryan Mackie 1 try
Tom Mair 1 try
Pete Vickers 2 conversions
A good win against a tough opposition saw Boro move into 2nd position, there was a lot of pressure on the players as they wanted to win on an important occasion for the club and they delivered. However, there are still elements that need work on but it was a step in the right direction which now needs to be backed up.