RUGBY: Derby defeat for relegated Huntingdon who aim to sign off on a high

Tad Chapman was among the points in Huntingdon's defeat at Peterborough.

Tad Chapman was among the points in Huntingdon's defeat at Peterborough. - Credit: Archant

Relegated Huntingdon suffered defeat in a high-scoring derby clash last Saturday.

Damien Whales’ men were beaten 40-30 at local rivals Peterborough in their final away fixture of a torrid Midlands Division One East campaign.

Tad Chapman was responsible for all of Stags’ points in the opening period thanks to a try, conversion and penalty.

Sam Hirons produced a quick brace of tries early in the second half with Chapman off-target with both conversion attempts.

He did add the extras following a fourth Stags score from Roger Shakespeare on the hour and Chapman completed the visitors’ haul with a penalty.

Stags remained in contention throughout but their hopes of a positive result were eventually ended by a final Peterborough try in the closing stages.

“It was the same old story of 60 minutes of decent rugby,” admitted head coach Whales. “But unfortunately matches last for 80 minutes and we made a couple of mistakes that cost us dear.

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“Our own errors contributed to two of Peterborough’s tries. We gave away 14 points on a day when we lost by 10, but I certainly can’t fault the effort of our guys.

“The intensity Peterborough played at was very high and we struggled to match them for parts of it, but we showed great energy and a willing attitude to keep ourselves in a game which could easily have been over much sooner.”

Stags will finish second-bottom regardless of the outcome of their final fixture this Saturday.

They entertain Melton Mowbray at The Racecourse, 3pm, in a clash which has previously been postponed three times during the course of the campaign.

“We’d love to sign off with a win and that is definitely the aim,” continued Whales. “There is no reason why we can’t do that if performing to the level we have done for the vast majority of our recent games.

“There will be a party atmosphere as it’s President’s Day so hopefully we can give everyone plenty of cheer with a good performance and result.

“I’m sure the drinks will be flowing, but we won’t be drowning their sorrows. We’re all upbeat for the future.”