Quarter-final test next for Meggies
THE Meggies turn their attentions to Midlands Junior Vase quarter-final action this weekend.
St Ives are the visitors to Lucarly's (2pm kick-off) as they look to book their place in the last four of the competition.
Last weekend's Midlands 4 East (North) encounter with Boston was always going to be a competitive affair – and the 38-3 final defeat by no means reflects how competitive it was for the opening 70 minutes.
Boston – who have not lost a league match all season – are clear favourites to win the league and were expected to triumph with little trouble.
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From the start, the match was played at a pace Cleethorpes hadn't seen before and it took them a while to adjust to the tactics employed by the away side.
Boston had clearly identified that Clee would be strong around the breakdown area, and wasted little time trying to take the ball up. Instead they moved the ball out one phase and played in midfield.
By the time Cleethorpes had got to grip with this, they were 12 points down.
Towards the end of the first half, it was Boston who were stretched as the Clee backs finally had some good ball to work with.
Only some excellent covering by the Boston back row stopped the Meggies from opening their own account.
During one of these phases of play, Boston gave away one too many penalties and their open-side spent 10 minutes in the 'sin bin' as a result. Stinson converted his chance to make the half-time score 3-12.
The home side were in the ascendancy now and it seemed only a matter of time before they closed the gap further.
The Cleethorpes back line of McDaid (pictured), Shaw, Broderick, Williams and Goodwin were running havoc, and a lesser team would have capitulated, but Boston held firm.
However, in an attempt to open up the away side's defence, Cleethorpes started to take unnecessary risks, which resulted in two interceptions and 14 points for the visitors.
The match was lost and Cleethorpes were playing for pride. But again, instead of sticking to their patterns of play, desperation and try line fever took over.
This poor defence in the final 10 minutes allowed Boston to stretch the scoreline out to 38-3 in their favour.
Regardless, it was a thoroughly enjoyable match to watch. Cleethorpes can take heart from the way they played, and pushed the best team they are likely to face this season.