|1st XV Report - Sat 16th Dec 2006 v Mens Own
Wellingborough 33 v Mens Own 8
Boro were looking to do the double as they wrapped up the first half of their league programme. As well as playing in front of many past players who had gathered for the Chairman's Lunch they also had one Jonny Wilkinson in the crowd. Wilkinson has been a long time friend of coach Andy Holloway after their youth rugby days together and took the training session on Thursday night whilst spending a few days in the county.
It was Boro who seemed the more awe-struck with him watching and they gifted a try to Mens Own in the first minute. After gaining ground through their forwards they spun the ball to their backs who found some gaping holes in Boro's defence to score an unconverted try. They increased their lead through a penalty soon afterwards and some strong words issued by skipper Dudley Cross could be heard around the ground.
Boro were starting to get their act together and reduced the arrears after a threequarter move saw them sweep down field. The move seemed to have broken down when Mens Own tried to intercept but only succeeded in knocking the ball over their own line where centre Tom Andrews was alert enough to dot down for his first try at the club. Pete Vickers duly converted to leave Boro one point down. Boro were gaining more confidence now and took the lead after colt Chris Shipman, standing in at full back, broke from his own half and finding Steven Gall inside him he drew his man perfectly before releasing to Gall who scored under the posts leaving Vickers with an easy conversion. Vickers scored two more penalties before the half time whistle to take Boro well clear.
Boro's pack were matching the opposition in every facet of the game forcing them into giving away many penalties. With two league points on offer and Vickers in fine form skipper Cross rightly took the decision to go for goal and they duly increased their lead with six more points. Mens Own did not look like troubling the score board themselves this half and it was Boro who put the game beyond reach with the final score. Playing the opposition at their own game No 8 Andy Fordham picked up at the back of the scrum and was driven over the line for a try. Vickers added the two points to complete the scoring and with other results coming through Boro find themselves second in the league at the half way stage.
A satisfactory first half of the season was marred when skipper Cross broke his hand early in the game and although he played on, Boro could be missing his services come January. They will also be missing wing forward Kyle Danns from the middle of January when he departs for New Zealand on a rugby scholarship. To prove the point Danns had an exceptional last home game and took the man of the match award. At the end of the game Wilkinson found himself swamped by autograph hunters all of which he duly signed to complete a memorable day for the club.