Badgers dig deep to stay on top at Wellingboro'
Bugbrooke battled a hard fought fixture with Wellingborough to reverse their league form that has included consecutive defeats. In a difficult month for the Badgers, whose small playing personnel has been hampered with long list of injuries and unavailability, the club we desperate to find a return to form. The Badgers suffered a shock defeat a fortnight ago at the hands of league strugglers Stockwood Park, and then lost out to league leaders Peterborough Lions last weekend in a game that they led and dominated for a large period.
Wellingborough proved a stern test, and difficult conditions meant a ‘game of two halves’ likely, with Bugbrooke playing with the wind in the first half. A real battle between the forwards developed through the first 20 minutes, but Bugbrooke finally found the score they needed, created by a sniping break from Scrum-half Tom Wood, with Number 8 KieFewster on hand to mark his return to the side from injury with a score. Bugbrooke, using the wind and a dominant set piece to their advantage applied constant pressure on the home side, and after the forwards worked their way into striking distance, Fly-Half Tom Davies slipped through the defence to touch down underneath the posts. The village side extended their score to 19 points before the break, turnover ball in midfield saw wingers Dan Wade and Adam Pepper both make good progress, before young Lock-Forward Peter Swift showed excellent support play to bundle over. Shaun Boyson landed two conversions, whilst Wellingborough had kicked a penalty for a 19-3 half time score.
With the wind in their backs, Wellingborough lifted their game in the second half, and using big forward runners and continued close play slowly advanced towards the Bugbrooke line. The Badgers defence was a mixture of the huge hits and missed tackles, and Wellingborough were rewarded with a try through the forwards. As momentum shifted the town side continued to work through the forwards, and created a one on one chance for their pacey full-back to touchdown. With two successful conversions, Wellingborough were in the ascendancy and had narrowed the margin to two points, but it was Bugbrooke who finished stronger. Finally working their way into Wellingborough territory, for the first time in the half, some good forward play provided a platform for the backs and a deft chip from Davies was judged to perfection, with Full-back KierenStainton gladly collecting the ball for a bonus point try. In the dying minutes, Bugbrooke showed excellent control, starving the home side of the ball till the final whistle. Though a game for the purist, the Badgers will be pleased with both the performance and the result, a real feather in the cap for the forwards, whose dominance at the set piece continually disrupted an abrasive Wellingborough side. Bugbrooke will be pleased to end a memorable 2011 on a victory, in a year that has seen the clubs most successful league campaign and a Lewis Shield win. The Badgers look to the three week break to nurse their injury list, but welcome one and all down to the Club for their annual Boxing Day Fixture against a Guest XV.