DEJA VOUS AT DUNSTABLE
After the excitement of the cup it was back to the grind of the league.
Boro travelled to bottom club Dunstablians hoping to keep the pressure on Old Scouts at the top. Over the years Dunstablians have proven to be a bit of a bogey side for Boro, earlier in the season Boro had lost at home due to a late drop goal.
A few changes were made to last week’s team with Andy Fordham coming into the second row and both flankers changing.
The game kicked off and saw Dunstablians put Boro under pressure resulting in an early penalty kick at goal which luckily was missed. Early play from both teams saw a couple of knock-ons as both teams tried to find a way to get that early breakthrough. The first bit of Boro possession saw Andy Seaton released into some space after some good inter-passing between backs and forwards. Andy sprinted over halfway and kicked ahead into the Dunstablians 22 and Boro were awarded with an attacking lineout. However, Dunstablians were awarded with a penalty and allowed to clear their lines.
Dunstablians were taking advantage of some wrong decisions by Boro but some strong defence from Boro around the edge of rucks prevented Dunstablians from making any headway. When Boro did get possession it was errantly kicked away allowing Dunstablians to come straight back at Boro, one attack saw Dunstablians awarded with a penalty kick but again the kick was missed. However, it wasn’t long before Dunstablians had another chance to score, this time a blindside move saw a break by Dunstablians and the try was scored (Duns 5v0 Boro).
Straight from the kick off Boro responded, Andy Seaton collected a kick from Dunstablians and ran it back. A series of quick rucks from backs and forwards then saw a wide ball to Luke Gardiner who burst free of the Dunstablians defence to dot down the ball and draw the teams level (Duns 5v5 Boro). A mistake from the next kick off saw a penalty awarded to Dunstablians which was converted to give the lead to Dunstablians (Duns 8v5 Boro).
Boro made their way into the Dunstablians 22 and looked like they were going to score through a good backs move but the referee thought he had seen some crossing and awarded a penalty to Dunstablians. From this Dunstablians progressed into the Boro 22 and again were awarded a penalty which was converted to extend the home team’s lead (Duns 11v5 Boro). The final moments of the half saw Boro putting together an attack but strong play by Dunstablians at the ruck saw the ball slowed and eventually turned over.
Half Time Score
Dunstablians 11v5 Wellingborough
A much improved performance was required in the second half if Boro wanted to get something out of this game and straight from the restart Boro were on the attack. A kick from Dunstablians was collected by Tom Mair who spun a wide pass to Pete Vickers, he then broke through the defence and sprinted over the halfway line before feeding the ball to Luke Gardiner who rounded the last defender before scoring a try which was then converted by Pete Vickers to give Boro the lead (Duns 11v12 Boro).
It wasn’t long before the lead was relinquished, a kick from Dunstablians was fielded by Boro but the clearance kick from Andy Seaton was charged down and the ball bounced favourably for Dunstablians to score the try which was converted (Duns 18v12 Boro). Boro with the wind at their backs started to have the lion’s share of the ball and were pressurising the Dunstablians defence they were rewarded for their positivity with a penalty as Dunstablians illegally prevented the ball from coming out of a ruck, Pete Vickers stepped up and kicked the ball between the uprights (Duns 18v15 Boro).
The Boro forwards now had some momentum and strong carries from Andy Fordham and Matt Ellson saw Boro progress forwards. A break from Kyle Danns down the blindside saw Luke Gardiner given the opportunity to score his hat trick but the covering defence managed to get back and prevent the try but at the cost of a penalty which Pete Vickers converted to bring the two teams level (Duns 18v18 Boro). Some poor play from Boro immediately after the kick allowed Dunstablians to get a foothold in the Boro 22, some further smart play from Dunstablians saw them score a try to regain the lead (Duns 23v18 Boro).
Boro needed to score quickly and were awarded a penalty which was kicked into the corner, a good catch and drive saw Boro get to the Dunstablians try line. Pete Vickers then made a half break but a strong Dunstablians tackle dislodged the ball as he went over the try line. It wasn’t long before the pressure took its toll and Boro were awarded with a penalty which Pete Vickers kicked over to bring Boro within two points (Duns 23v21 Boro).
The next few minutes saw some scrappy play from both sides as both teams were desperate for the win but this resulted in a series of knock-ons and mistakes. However, a kick over the defence from Boro saw Pete Vickers chase after the ball to nudge it over the try line, and he dived to dot down the ball, the referee, however, decided that the ball had gone over the dead ball line contrary to both teams opinions. It wasn’t long before Boro were given the opportunity to take the lead with a penalty kick outside the 22 but the kick hit the post allowing Dunstablians to clear.
A poor kick from Dunstablians saw Steven Gall kick the ball back to Andy Seaton who then returned it, the Boro forwards and backs then combined to take Boro within 5 yards of the Dunstablians try line, Pete Vickers stepped back into the pocket to drop kick the ball between the posts giving Boro the lead with 2 mins to go (Duns 23v24 Boro). The final 2 mins saw Boro put together some strong defence knocking back any attackers allowing Boro to see out the game with a win under the belt.
Dunstablians 23v24 Wellingborough
Luke Gardiner 2 tries
Pete Vickers 1 con, 3 pens, 1 drop goal
Two games against Dunstablians and two drop goals with differing outcomes, this time it was Boro who scored the points and took the win. The win meant that Boro remain in second with some breathing space back to 3rd, however, this wasn’t one of the best performances of the season. The attack stuttered and failed to get any fluidity but a strong defence meant that Boro stayed in touch throughout the match.
Next week sees Boro entertain Oakham at home which is going to a tough fixture, so training this week is likely to be very focussed as the players know that to get a good run going some improvements are required.