Midlands 4 East (North)
Amber Valley 18 Boston RFC 38
It’s played two, won two for Boston Firsts as they maintained their 100 per cent league record with another impressive away victory.
While the headlines will go to men of the match fly half Matthew Bray - a personal haul of 23 points - and winger Jaron Cowern, a first-half hat-trick, this was a real squad victory, writes John Fletcher.
Playing against the wind and rain in the first half, Boston started well and a Bray penalty after seven minutes, followed shortly by a second on 10 minutes, saw them take a 6-3 lead.
As the backs sought to move the ball wide, their support play and handling, excellent given the tricky conditions, reaped dividends, winger Cowern scoring three tries in a golden 15-minute spell, the third seeing him muscle his way over against three men to score.
All three tries were converted by Bray, extending Boston’s lead to 24-6.
But they then conceded a penalty try just before half time to enter the interval 24-13 up.
The second half saw 14-man Amber Valley come racing out of the blocks, scoring an early try on 10 minutes to cut the deficit to 24-18.
The momentum was swinging towards the home side and Boston suffered a number of injuries, first back-row forward Sam Hughes, then hooker Paul Beard and finally full back Harry Woods leaving the pitch.
The resulting reshuffles by coach Ash Coates saw Boston’s replacements being called into action, but it was fly half Bray who put the game to bed with two breakaway tries in a five-minute spell.
To Amber Valley’s credit, they never gave up and for the last 10 minutes of the match lay siege to the Boston line, only resolute, organised defence, seeing the visitors hold their line to come away with a five-point away win.
This tough away day saw coach Coates give Louis Williams his first team starting debut on the wing, while the evergreen Ian Smith – 47 years young – also made his first team debut from the bench.
On Wednesday night Boston travel to play Skegness, for the third time this season, in the first round of the Lincolnshire Cup, kick-off 7.30pm.
On Saturday they hit the road and travel to play Worksop in the league , kick-off 3pm.
All support welcomed to both games.
BOSTON: Cock, Beard, de la Fontaine, Eldin, Sharp, Scuffham, Hughes, Cotton-Betteridge, Gray, Bray, Williams, Baldwin, Kippax, Cowern, Woods; Replacements: Fowler, Sampson, Smith.
Amber Valley 2nd XV 36 Boston Development XV 7
Boston’s Development side travelled with the Firsts and came away losing 36-7.
Their sole try scorer was winger Kaylan Hannay.
On Saturday they return to action as entertain Sleaford Seconds at home, kick-off 3pm.
BOSTON: Harmston, Wood, Philpott, Sampson, Lloyd, Curtis, Paul, Redshaw, Hardstaff, Borley, Hall, Pinheiro, Piggo, Smith, Jackson, Cook, Pickett, Coley, Houghton, Hall.