Boston Rugby Club ended Ashby’s unbeaten start to the season with a hard-fought 10-5 victory in the Midlands 3 East (North).
After four straight successes, they were finally undone at the Boardsides in a tough, forwards-dominated battle.
On a wet and windy Saturday afternoon it was never going to be a fast flowing game for the backs.
Boston tried to run the ball wide early but the conditions made handling difficult.
In contrast, Boston’s forwards proved dominant both in the scrum and at the breakdown.
Strong running by prop Will Scupham ensured Boston were soon in Ashby’s half, but the real damage was done by number eight Jack Stokes (pictured. Photo: David Dales), who carved his was through defenders to put Boston ahead, the conversion put away by Matt Bray.
Errors were being made by both teams but it was Boston that had the upper hand in the scrum which gave them great field position.
Desperate defending by Ashby kept Boston at bay but they soon gave away a penalty that Bray kicked with ease, ending the half 10-0 in the Blue and Whites’ favour.
The second half started slowly for both teams as the fans were subjected to scrum after scrum after scrum. Things didn’t improve for Boston when Stokes retired injured.
If the first half was all Boston, the second half saw Ashby start to get into their game.
Despite dogged defending from Boston and some crunching tackling from Alex Kemp, Michael Baldwin and Jaron Cowern, Ashby managed to find a gap and scored in the corner the conversion failed.
The game was still on a knife edge with Boston defending a narrow 10-5 lead.
Thanks to a massive defensive team effort, the home team managed to keep the visitors out and secured another home win against a top-ranked side.
BOSTON: Dowse, Kemp, Scupham, Halliday, Eldin, Lane, Deane, Stokes, Laidlaw, Bray, Cotton-Betteridge, Andrews, Baldwin, Cowern, Stanfield; Replacements: Lawson, Neal, Brogan.