RUGBY: St Neots see off Deepings to reach cup final - now they need to beat them again to clinch league title

Stefan Gallucci (left) scored St Neots' first try in their semi-final triumph. Picture: J BIGGS PHOT

Stefan Gallucci (left) scored St Neots' first try in their semi-final triumph. Picture: J BIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

St Neots booked their place in the Hunts & Peterborough Cup final – by coming through the first of two crunch clashes against the same opponents.

Saints triumphed 27-24 at Deepings last Saturday to seal their place in the showpiece and move a step closer to a potential honours double.

Deepings also stand between Saints and the Midlands Division Four East (South) title this Saturday.

The two teams clash again on the final day of the campaign – this time at The Common - when already-promoted Saints need to claim victory to be sure of going up as champions.

Saints go into battle two points clear of closest challengers Bourne, who face lowly Thorney in their final outing.

And Saints will be determined to perform better than they did last weekend when making extremely hard work of their semi-final showdown.

They conceded the opening try before Stefan Gallucci finished off a smart team move to reply for Saints.

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Nic Robinson then darted past a couple of defenders to touch down under the posts, but Saints couldn’t capitalise on their dominance and defensive errors allowed Deepings to claim their second try.

Robinson was also involved in Saints’ third try as prop Matt Davies went over in the corner, but their lead was cut to two points by a Deepings penalty just before the break.

Points were at a premium in a tight second period. Tom Beech and Lewis Hall kicked penalties to extend Saints’ advantage to eight points before the hosts grabbed a try in the dying minutes.

But it wasn’t enough to prevent Saints from making progress into a final against Peterborough 2nds. That will take place at Thorney on Saturday, May 12 (1pm kick-off).