Blue and Whites edged out in basement tussle

Matt Bray.
Matt Bray.

Midlands 4 East (North)

Meden Vale 20

Boston RFC 17

Another away day, another defeat for Boston Firsts.

Hopes were high for an away victory in this bottom-of-the-table clash against a physical home team, but Boston fell behind after just two minutes.

Vale’s big pack won a scrum penalty, and after kicking for touch the home team won their line-out and powered over near the corner.

Boston re-grouped and soon hit back.

Zeph Chapman and captain Alex Hough began the move in their own half before feeding loose forward Tom Andrews, who sliced through the home side’s midfield before setting up brother James to race over and level the scores.

Tempers had been simmering from early on, and the home side were reduced to 14 men on 10 minutes, their second-row being shown a red card for use of the feet at a ruck.

Boston’s Alan Phoenix went to the bin in the same incident for retaliation.

The visitors lost captain Hough to a blood injury, but took the lead with a great team try.

Winning a line-out on the far side of the pitch, they took the ball into midfield, cleared out superbly at the ruck and gave scrum half Chapman quick ball.

He fed Matt Bray, and the inside centre beat his man and sold a dummy to cross in the corner.

Bray then converted his own score to make it 5-12.

Vale cut the deficit to two points when they pushed over from a five-metre scrum, and laid siege to the Boston line as half drew to a close, but Boston defended superbly with Tom Andrews especially prominent.

The home team’s frustrations surfaced again and their tight-head prop was also shown a red card for an indiscretion at ruck time, and Boston went in at the break two points and two men to the good.

With Boston playing into the breeze and with sun setting the second half became an attritional affair.

The visitors looked dangerous with ball in hand, but they fell behind midway through the half to a long-range penalty - and 13-12 became 18-12 shortly after, the home side crashing over under the posts.

The conversion made it an eight-point game, but Boston hit back well, running the ball from deep.

Full back Jazz Cowern joined the line at pace and his strength, pace and footwork saw him beat several tacklers on his way to the line.

The conversion was missed, and Vale were able to see out the remaining minutes as Boston went down to 14 men following a yellow card for Chapman.

The visitors lost George Sharp, Alex Hough and James Andrews to injury in this match.

Next up for Boston is a home match with Ollerton on November 19.

BOSTON: Cowern, Turley, J. Andrews, Bray, Woods, Kippax, Chapman, Lane, Phoenix, Hough, Sharp, Coley, Cuthbertson, T. Andrews, Eldin; replacements: Curtis, Baldwin.