|1st XV Report - Saturday 24th November v S & L
Kicking uphill and against a strong breeze in the first half, the visitors expected a tough start. However, instead of using the wind to their advantage as expected, S&L pounded Boro with their forwards running off the breakdown and at Boro's midfield. Boro's defence, which has hitherto been solid this season was left creaking and looking vulnerable.
Boro took the advantage following a rare trip into S&L's 22 in the first quarter following hands in the ruck; Pete Vickers slotting against the wind. S&L then however, hit back through their pack and Boro were given a lesson in forward play. Dominating in the scrum and around the park, S&L recycled quick ball from a good line out take and No 8 Johny Ironmonger beat three attempted tackles through Boro's back line to cross and give the home side the lead. S&L added the conversion and following a period of telling pressure, Boro were adjudged to have infringed at the breakdown and S&L extended their lead to 10-3 at the break.
Boro turned round with the wind at their backs and despite the 7 point deficit, were confident of turning the game around. However, poor kicking for territory saw too many kicks go out on the full and with S&L's pack dominate at the set piece, Boro appeared all out of options. It was crucial for Boro to get back in the game and score first however, S&L's pack once again took the initiative and from a line out on the visitor's 22, they drove with Ironmonger again peeling off from the maul to cross the line and with the two points added, S&L were 17-3 up.
Boro then staged something of a comeback and went close following a good move from their back line however, the final pass from stand-in full back Peter Gilbey failed to find winger Dom Smart and Boro's best move of the match amounted to nothing. With 20 minutes on the clock Boro finally registered some points via Vickers' boot and displaying something of a resurgence following the introduction of Keir Davidson to the front row, Boro finally crossed when Kyle Danns gathered and went over from a line out at close range. Vickers however, failed to add the conversion but with 7 minutes on the clock, the game was still open at 17-11.
The final result of 22-11 was a fair reflection of the game.