1st XV
Sat 23 Mar 2024  ·  Regional 2 Midlands East
Market Harborough RUFC
1st XV
Northampton Old Scouts
The Full Monty

The Full Monty

MH RUFC24 Mar - 08:51
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Harborough's fly half Monty Maule helped steer the Black Cats to victory over top of the table rivals Northampton Old Scouts.

On a cool blustery day at Northampton Road, a large crowd gathered for this much anticipated fixture. The throng was bolstered by the former players attending the Kibworth reunion dinner, so spirits were high.

The game kicked off with the wind behind the home side, but it soon became apparent that Old Scouts were very well drilled and Harborough had their attack and defence fully tested. An early Monty Maule penalty after 3 minutes settled nerves for the home side. The wind helped Harborough keep the action down inside the Old Scouts 22 metre line and a few penalties led to several attempts at catch and drives towards the visitors try line. The defence was solid and plan B ensued with the ball traversing along the back line. Well that's what most of the spectators thought, but Monty Maule had other ideas and his dummy pass allowed him to step inside and score to the left hand side of the posts. He then converted his own try. Harborough led 10-0.

The half continued in a similar vain with Harborough turning down opportunities to kick for goal, preferring a more rumbustious forward rumbling route. Jack Digby the epitome of that approach, took half the Old Scouts team over the line with him, but they managed to hold him up.

There was a period of 15 minutes where the game was in danger of descending into a 7's tournament with three Old Scouts players and two Harborough players sin binned for a variety of exuberant activities. The game settled down and Sam Blades, Josh Ford and Jack Brown tackled, rucked and mauled alongside the marauding Jack Burrows to keep Old Scouts at bay.

Just before half time Old Scouts launched a number of counter attacks and left wing Noah Jervis caught the eye with some serious pace. The attack criss crossed the pitch and Harborough's defence fell away and Jervis touched down in the right hand corner. The conversion was missed but the home support were wondering whether their team had enough of a lead when Scouts would benefit from the second half breeze. Half Time 10-5.

Those fears manifested themselves in the early stages of the second half when the visitors slotted over an early penalty and fly half Jack Green pinged over a delightful drop goal and in the blink of an eye Old Scouts led 10-11. With the wind advantage it looked like the remaining 30 minutes would see Harborough struggle to get a foothold in Old Scouts territory.

Step forward the man of the moment Monty Maule, who kicked high and deep from restarts, the ball hung up in the air allowing Harborough forwards to arrive and gather possession to launch attacks. From one of these restarts Harborough went bish, bosh, bang and Maule stepped inside to score on the right hand side of the posts, In soccer parlance, Timmy Waterfield and Josh Purnell get the assists. Maule converted and Harborough led 17-11.

Whilst the home team moved further up the pitch, getting consistent ball was proving difficult as several lineouts went astray. This was a combination of the wind moving the ball about as throws went long and a competitive Old Scouts number two jumper. Finally, Jack Burrows and the impressive Jack Brown (aka Jeff) got to grips with the conditions and finished with three delightful lineout takes!

Not only was this beginning to be a fly half attacking masterclass, the Harborough 10 showed the way with some tenacious tackling which scythed down adventurous Scouts attackers. It was turning into a jamboree as Harborough began to take control of the game. The wind did die down a little, but a Monty Maule penalty kick needed every bit of 'shredded wheat' and height to drop a few inches over the crossbar. 20-11.

With time running out, a penalty in front of the posts was duly dispatched by Maule and the game ended 23-11, with the fly half scoring all the home sides points. This was a hugely enjoyable game played by two good teams who never took a backward step. Whilst Harborough's mid field generals will take the plaudits their were some impressive performances from the forwards who battled tenaciously all afternoon.

So with one game to go Harborough sit second in the table, but have a mountain to climb if the season is to end on a higher note. With Nuneaton beating Lutterworth 47-25 Nuneaton now find themselves top of the league by 5 points with a 94 point tally. Harborough and Lutterworth both have 89 points in 2nd and third places. However, Harborough head to leaders Nuneaton on the 6th April and Lutterworth are away to 10th placed Oadby Wyggs.

Finally two dates for your diary the - The 1sts take on Hinckley 2nds in the County Cup Semi-final on Thursday 11th April and Tom Croft is the special guest at the end of season seniors dinner on Friday 17th May. More details in due course.

Match details

Match date

Sat 23 Mar 2024




Regional 2 Midlands East

League position

Market Harborough
Northampton Old Scouts
Team overview
Further reading

Team Sponsors

Main Club Sponsor - Joules Ltd
Club Sponsor - DS Ronald Building Services