St Neots enjoy a sterling weekend across all teams
- Credit: ST NEOTS RUGBY
St Neots remain firmly in the promotion hunt at the top of Midlands Four East (South) after a 45-17 home win over Brackley.
They now sit third but have a game in hand on leaders Biggleswade, four points further up the standings, and two in hand on second-place Northampton BBOB, just one point ahead.
A superb start saw Bradley McKenna storm down the right wing twice to claim two tries, both converted by Lewis Hall, and James Larman added a third in the first period.
But Brackley would not lie down and when they scored early in the second period, the score was sat at a precarious 21-17.
But despite Brackley forcing St Neots to concede penalties at the breakdown, the hosts dug deep and with injuries to the opposition, Joe Hitchin, Pete Sharp and a further two for McKenna, taking his tally to four, they edged clear late on.
Skipper Nick Ashford said: "It was an ugly win but a win nevertheless. We steadied the ship and came through.
"Fair play to Brackley they remained a determined opposition and rightly walked off the pitch with their heads held high."
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The ladies' side went down to a 22-12 defeat at home to leaders Olney in a battle of the top two in Women's NC Two Midlands (Central).
Emily Miller got their first try, Sophie Lanham adding the conversion, and then Lanham crossed the whitewash herself just before the break to give the hosts a 12-10 lead.
And there was plenty of dedication after half-time, and some cracking tackles and turnovers, but in the end Olney's powerful runners found the gaps to score two more tries and take the victory.
Coach Sion James was still hugely satisfied though.
She said: "It was a game of fine margins and both had to contend with varying weather elements.
"But despite the scoreboard come full-time, the ladies continue to grow, continue to be consistent and continue to realise their potential.
"We are ready for the rest of the season and can't wait to face Stockwood Park in two weeks' time."
The junior girls too continue to progress, and in style too.
Their latest game was away to Shelford and it brought another fabulous performance.
There were numerous smashing and try-saving tackles made by Wall, Jarman and Cox while Parfitt, Greener and Lomas consistently ran many fantastic attacking lines resulting in the Saints advancing up the pitch with great intensity.
Ultimately, the girls showed an outstanding display of teamwork, which led to Thorpe and Bloomsmar scoring a number of tries.
Holly Ingram said: "This team improves their performance every game and we are all very excited to see their future successes."
In junior boys rugby there were conflicting fortunes for the U15 and U16s.
The U15s dominated against visitors Saffron Walden, earning a big win 75-15, but the U16s went down to a narrow defeat to a strong Kettering side.
The disappointment was eased somewhat by a fantastic team try for Max Bowden on his birthday.
Meanwhile the U14s travelled to Wellingborough, going down10-8 in a thrilling encounter.