Firsts’ early fire doused

Billy Wilson. Photo: David Dales.
Billy Wilson. Photo: David Dales.

Midlands Four East (North)

Boston First XV 22

Matt Coley. Photo: David Dales.

Matt Coley. Photo: David Dales.

Mellish 29

A first-half Blue and Whites points rush was not enough to hold off Mellish in this 
cracker of a league 
encounter.

Boston took the game to their visitors from the start, ferocious in the loose, solid in the set piece, and with Sam Gray and Liam Smith kicking well for field position.

And having worked their way upfield, they took the lead inside 10 minutes.

Billy Wilson scores a try. Photo: David Dales.

Billy Wilson scores a try. Photo: David Dales.

Pressure following repeated phases of play earned a penalty on the Mellish five-metre line, a quick tap and the ball was fed out for stand-off Smith to force his way over the line, helped by supporting teammates.

Straight from the re-start, the outstanding Billy Wilson collected the high ball and set off on the charge. Supporting colleagues kept the ball alive, and when a rampaging Matt Coley joined the line Mellish were again penalised. Matt Bray slotted the kick to make it 10-0.

Boston’s midfield defence was standing firm, led by Smith and Bray, and it was not long before the lead grew.

Lewis Eldin stole a Mellish throw on their own five-metre line, and Wilson crashed through two would-be tacklers: 15-0.

Mellish were slowly forcing their way back into the game and threatened the Boston line. Having been held up by good defensive work in the in-goal area, they won the subsequent five-metre scrum and scored in the corner.

A penalty to the visitors narrowed the lead to 15-8, but the home team ended the half on top as possession was stolen in midfield and the ball was fed quickly down the line for winger Callum McNulty to race half the length of the pitch and touch down unchallenged under the posts.

Bray’s conversion took the interval advantage to 14 points.

The danger signs had been there for Boston, but the second half started well with more pressure, only for an attacking scrum to be lost.

Things started to go wrong for the hosts when Wilson went off with a wrist injuryon nine minutes, and when captain Alex Hough followed soon after with a recurring neck issue the writing was on the wall.

Mellish began to take charge as Boston slipped back into their shells, much of their early fire extinguished, and two tries in the next 10 minutes levelled the match at 22-22.

A further score with a quarter of an hour left saw the home team fall seven points behind, and although the Blue and Whites belatedly fought back, they could do no more than take a losing bonus point from the game.

A good result for Boston on the face of things, but in reality another victory which got away.

BOSTON: Hobbs, Turley, Bray, Woods, McNulty, Smith, Gray, Hough, Wilson, Deamer, Eldin, Coley, Stones-Blackman, Andrew, Baker; replacements: Cock, Beard, Fowler, Jones, Moody.