Boro stumble at ONs
By Matt Armstrong
Week 6 and a trip to ONs
This week saw Boro travel to ONs in the rearranged fixture from last week. Another week with some more changes, in the front row Kieran Loveridge moved over to hooker and Shaun Mackie made his first appearance in the front row this season. Alex Bean came back into the second row and Connor Gordon moved from the bench back into the back row. The back line saw three changes to the back three with Kieran Checkley coming back on the wing after injury , Andy Seaton moved to the wing from full back and Ryan Mackie made his first start of the season.
Boro kicked off against a strong wind so the key this half was to keep the score down by retaining the ball and defending strongly. Boro initially started with the ball and some good work with the ball saw them progress into the ONs half. However, ONs soon had the ball but some strong breakdown work saw Boro awarded with a penalty as ONs didn't release in the tackle. It wasn't long before ONs made a half break into the Boro 22 but it took some strong defensive work from Ryan Mackie and Connor Riley to prevent a score. Inevitably, the defence became stretched and a try was scored out wide to give ONs the lead ( ONs 5v0 Boro). Boro took the game straight back to ONs with the forwards keeping the ball and carrying hard, Kieran Loveridge was particularly prominent in carrying the ball.
Boro tried to push the ball wide but the ONs defence pressed hard and a couple of times Harry Bryan had to fight to keep the ball in the face of a strong defence. However, the ONs team had given away a number of penalties in the opening quarter and the referee had no choice but to send one of the ONs players to the bin for 10 mins. This left space for Boro to take advantage and Connor Gordon took full advantage carrying the ball through the ONs line, this positive play was rewarded with a penalty shot at goal which Pete Vickers slotted between the uprights (ONs 5v3 Boro). The kick off went straight to Shaun Mackie who wiggled his hips and put on the afterburners to run 15 yards into the ONs half, this was followed up by some strong carrying from Chris Shipman and Dan Sims right up to the ONs line but as the ball was pushed wide a mistake saw ONs clear their lines. ONs progressed into the Boro half and were awarded with a penalty shot of their own which was missed. Boro soon had the ball and a series of penalties conceded by ONs went unpunished, and then just before half time the referee produced two yellow cards, one to the ONs captain for an incident off the ball and one to Chris Shipman which we are still trying to understand.
Old Northamptonians 5 v 3 Wellingborough
Boro now had the wind with them and a good early kick from Pete Vickers put ONs back into their own 22. This was soon followed by a well constructed attack but a mistake saw ONs break free. Boro were now struggling to get their hands on the ball and ONs progressed into the Boro 22 but an errant pass from their backs nearly saw Steven Gall intercept the ball. However, the resultant scrum saw ONs put together some phases to extend their lead with a try (ONs 12v3 Boro). The next ONs attack saw the ball turned over by Pete Vickers and it wasn't long before Boro were awarded with penalty at a scrum which Pete Vickers converted to bring Boro within a score (ONs 12v6 Boro). Boro kept the pressure on ONs and were awarded with another turnover penalty but this time the kick was pushed wide. Again Boro came back this time Andy Seaton's well placed kick and the subsequent turnover saw Kieran Checkley put into space out wide but his kick ahead came to nothing.
ONs soon had the ball and a gap in the defence out wide saw ONs extend their lead with a try (ONs 19v6 Boro). This seemed to rock Boro and a number of players heads seemed to go down, but it wasn't long before Boro attacked again, however the attack out wide saw a mistake made and ONs cleared the ball. Boro soon had a penalty which was put into the corner, a quick lineout saw Chris Shipman carry into the ONs defence but a penalty for a cynical offside was awarded to Boro. A quick tap from Pete Vickers saw Dan Sims carry the ball up to the ONs try line, the ball was quickly spun right and Ben Morton-Bright barged over the try line taking two or defenders with him (ONs 19v11 Boro). With the half drawing to a close Joel Smith was sent to the sin bin, there was also still time for another try from ONs (ONs 26v11 Boro).
Old Northamptonians 26 v 11 Wellingborough
This was a missed opportunity for Boro, the score line certainly flatters ONs as Boro had a number of chances where composure would have seen a try or two scored. Next week sees Boro play Oundle, a team who are pushing towards the top end of the table so it is essential that training is good this week as there a number of elements to work on.