Ill discipline, two yellow cards and a penalty count in double figures saw Boston Rugby Club victims of their own downfall away at Ashby this weekend, writes John Fletcher.
Yet again, due to various circumstances, the starting XV had several changes from the previous week.
Stalwarts Nigel Lane and Ian Sampson provided experience in the front row.
Back rowers Alex Roberts and George Sharp provided youth and mobility.
In the backs, Robbie Jones and Will Paul were installed on the wings and Dave Cotton-Betteridge moved into centre.
Playing against the strong wind, the pattern of the first half was quickly established.
Boston would remain camped in their own half, whilst defensively they repelled a number of promising Ashby attacks.
Due to numerous penalty infringements, however, Ashby were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and, after 35 minutes and four penalties, they were 12–0 ahead.
In a rare foray into Ashby’s half, Boston did win a penalty which was converted by Will Scupham.
However, they conceded a try on the stroke of half time to enter the interval 22-3 behind, with 14 men on the pitch a result of Lane being yellow carded.
To Boston’s credit and team spirit, they started the second half positively, quickly putting pressure on the Ashby line. They were duly rewarded with a penalty try to narrow the deficit to 22-10 after only six minutes of play.
Four minutes later a penalty by Will Scupham narrowed the gap to 22-13.
For a short period of time it looked as if Boston would be able to secure a losing bonus point.
However, further penalties, a second yellow card for Mathew Dean, and a try saw these hopes quickly fade.
In the closing stages of the match, centre Liam Smith made a welcome return after a long lay-off due to injury.
Boston First XV are without a fixture on Saturday.
They will return to league action the following week when they entertain Ashfield at home (KO 2.15pm).
BOSTON: Lane, Dowse, Sampson, Eldin, Dean, Kemp, Roberts, Sharp, Laidlaw, Scupham, Paul, J. Andrews, T. Andrews, Cotton- Betteridge, Jones, Woollaston; Replacements: Beard, Smith.