ELLSON SCORES A TRY (and gets a yellow card!)
This week saw Wellingborough travel to S&L, notoriously a game which quite often ends up as a battle between the two packs.
A few changes to the team this week saw the bench packed with some weight to combat S&L and Ryan Mackie move to the outside centre spot. Conditions overhead and on the pitch indicated that the game wasn’t going to free-flowing!
S&L kicked off and it wasn’t long before pressure from the Boro defence resulted in turnover but poor handling meant that Boro couldn’t take advantage. S&L kept the early pressure on through their forwards and quick passing on the blind side saw S&L score the first points in the corner (S&L 5v0 Boro). However, this was immediately answered as Pete Vickers snaked through the S&L defence before kicking the ball up to and over the try line, the kick was fumbled by the S&L covering defence and Pete Vickers stretched out a hand to score the try which was then converted (S&L 5v7 Boro).
Boro started to exert pressure at the scrum and lineout, with one scrum being won by a rare hook against the head by Matt Ellson, this set piece pressure meant that Boro could clear the ball through some stupendous kicks by Ryan Mackie and Pete Vickers. S&L were reduced to 14 players as a Boro player was taken out off the ball but initially Boro couldn’t take advantage. Some scrappy play from both sides was soon ended as both Darrell Raynard and Andy Seaton made breaks, this attacking flair caused S&L to offend and the resulting penalty was banged into the corner. The lineout was won and a good drive by the forward pack to the try line saw the S&L pack and packs sucked in, quick wide ball saw Ryan Mackie put into space and he scored the try which was then converted (S&L 5v14 Boro).
S&L upped their intensity around the ruck which then led to a good break by the S&L 15 who was halted but great defensive play enabled Boro to clear the ball through Tom Mair. Another good piece of defence saw the ball turned over and again Ryan Mackie was released into some space, this time he hit the afterburners and beat a couple of players in a mazy 60 yard run to the try line to score a try, although he was in danger of being caught by the S&L prop, Pete Vickers then slotted over the wide conversion to extend the Boro lead (S&L 5v21 Boro).
S&L from the kick off went on the offensive and started to put together some phases of play but the Boro defence held strong, however, the pressure did eventually take its toll with Boro offending at the ruck. The referee’s patience ran out and Matt Ellson was sent to the bin for not retreating 10 yards after a quickly tapped penalty from S&L. S&L called for the scrum with the line at their mercy but the Boro pack now bolstered by Andy Fordham and Keir Davidson held strong allowing Ben Taylor to harass the S&L 9 sufficiently to put him off allowing Boro to clear their lines.
Stewarts and Lloyds 5v21 Wellingborough
The second half kicked off and straight away S&L targeted the Boro fringe defence through their big pack but some aggressive defence saw Boro win a penalty which Pete Vickers slotted over (S&L 5v24 Boro). With S&L having the majority of early possession Boro were finding it difficult to gain a foothold, however, the Boro defence was suffocating in that it denied S&L any chance for a break or the opportunity to get into the Boro half.
The quality of Boro’s defensive play meant that any turnover ball from S&L soon had them marching back as Boro’s superior kicking game meant that they could ensure that S&L had to attack from deep. One turnover by Boro saw S&L infringe and although the kick was missed S&L had to take a quick drop out which was soon snuffed out. The kicking game soon proved beneficial as another mix up in the S&L defence saw a Boro kick through gathered up, after a quick ruck the ball was spun wide to Tom Mair who scored the bonus fourth try (S&L 5v31 Boro).
Boro were soon awarded with a penalty after the kick off which was put into the S&L 22, the lineout was won cleanly and the forwards drove the ball towards and over the S&L try line, Matt Ellson emerged from the pile of bodies claiming the try (S&L 5 v36 Boro). The kick off from S&L was gathered in by Shaun Mackie but S&L soon had the ball back but again the defence held firm.
The remaining 15 minutes of the half seemed to be punctuated by knock-ons and penalties as the conditions started to make playing rugby difficult. S&L tried to gain momentum through picking and driving but some belligerent defence from all the Boro team meant that Boro could pick when to target the turnover. However, Boro couldn’t take advantage and found themselves conceding penalties allowing S&L to keep coming. The final moments of the match saw Darrell Raynard smashing back another S&L attacker and with that the final whistle went.
Stewarts and Lloyds 5 v 36 Wellingborough
Pete Vickers 1 try, 1 penalty, 4 cons (16 pts)
Ryan Mackie 2 tries (10 pts)
Tom Mair 1 try
Matt Ellson 1 try
Another good performance from the whole team in a traditionally tough fixture saw Boro consolidate their spot in 2nd. A solid set piece, great defence and the ability to play the conditions allowed Boro to come away with a convincing win.
Next week’s game sees local rivals Old Scouts visit Cut Throat Lane with Boro looking to carrying on from the last two weeks.
Written by Matt Armstrong