Match ReportSat 07 Dec

Rugby Lion’s latest league encounter was away at Market Harborough’s impressive facilities. In a tough contest, Lions worked hard to get into a deserved winning position with less than ten minutes remaining, but then presented the hosts with an early Christmas present in trying to run the ball out of their own twenty two.

Two early penalties by Kris McFedries gave the visitors an early lead, but Harborough’s huge pack then began to influence proceedings. A nice backs move from the hosts resulted in a nice try which was converted to put them one point ahead. On thirty minutes, this lead was increased with a well-struck penalty from wide out. Another penalty in front of the posts for not releasing the ball enabled the hosts to lead at the interval 13-6.

If Harborough shaded the first half, the second period was a different matter with the Lions dominating territory and pinning the hosts deep in their own half. An early kickable penalty for the Lions was put into touch for a catch and drive. The ball was duly won, and the drive was on. The momentum was unstoppable with most of the home forwards on the floor, and Ben Nuttall claimed the score. The try was converted by McFedries to tie the score. A rare visit into Lion’s territory saw the hosts awarded another penalty which restored their lead.

Harborough were conceding a number of penalties under the pressure from the visitors, and Ben Nuttall took a quick tap and go. He was bought down just short of the line by a player clearly not ten metres away, and the ball was knocked out of his grasp.

A good run by Andy Morrison was stopped just short of the try line and a number of drives were somehow repelled before Callum Forsyth spun the ball to Phil Reed. With three unmarked players outside him a try looked certain until the home centre deliberately knocked the ball on. He was rightly shown a yellow card although a penalty try was not awarded.

A loose clearance kick by the hosts under severe pressure on their own try line, presented the Lions with a chance to spin the ball wide. Mike Howe and Phil Reed combined well to feed Andy Morrison on the right touch line. He still had plenty to do, but a lovely hand-off saw him round the defender and dive over in the corner. A superb conversion by McFedries saw the ball strike the far upright and drop over the bar.

With a four point lead and only eight minutes remaining, all Lions had to do was keep possession. This they seemed to do well at first with a number of forward drives retaining the ball. Then for some reason they decided to go wide, and an inside pass on their twenty two was easily intercepted by the home fly-half who probably couldn’t believe his luck. The try was converted and another late penalty for Harborough completed the scoring.

Very frustrating for the Lion’s players and supporters, with the one losing bonus point scant reward for their efforts.


Next week the Lions host Melbourne for a 2.15pm Kick off.


Final Score:-  Market Harborough 26 Rugby Lions 20


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