Deepings kept their unbeaten home record after a gutsy win over winless Bedford Swifts at Linchfield Road today.
On a day when young players like wingers Kelvin Squires and Luke Whitby, outside centre Jack Towers on his full Green Machine debut and flanker Fraser Leiper shone, Nobby Coupland’s men showed why there is plenty of promise at the club.
But Deepings’ second league win of the season was also made possible by tenacious skipper Lance Charity, vice captain Phil Trotman, the increasingly important Aram Jones at full back and Chris “Farmer” Owen back at fly half.
The home side went in front early with the first of three tries from tight-head prop Gareth Silverwood who bullied the Swifts’ forwards all afternoon, crashing over from a five-metre scrum to touch down.
Owen converted to make it 7-0 before the home side were called upon to soak up extreme pressure in their own 22 as Bedford Swifts threaten to equalise.
But heroic defending from Matty Morton, Towers, Leiper, Coupland and Peacock kept the visitors out and they had to settle for Paul Robson penalty to cut the deficit to four.
Then play switched to the other end as lock James Hayward, man of the match in Deepings’ previous win at home to Stamford College Old Boys, followed Silverwood’s example by scoring a try in the corner.
However, the conversion was missed by Owen and as the second half action developed, that and the Robson penalty suddenly saw the game swing in the visitors’ favour.
Before that, Deepings looked to have sewn the game up when Silverwood stormed over for his second try, this time powering over the in-goal line from 20 metres out.
Owen was unlucky to miss the conversion, arrowing his 22-metre kick just the wrong side of the left upright.
However, Deepings looked to be coasting at this stage until a wayward kick by Hayward almost led to a breakaway try, but for a tackle from the gods by debutant James McCaskie.
Bedford did score though after piecing together an effective series of phased plays that ended with flanker Rob Rowland popping up after multiple tap penalties to score, Robson supplying the conversion.
Deepings’ Chris Owen sensed the need for a fourth try to make the game safe and Silverwood provided it with a trademark score five minutes from time.
Ex-Spalding winger Josh Broome expertly kicked the conversion to make the game safe for the Green Machine, even when Swifts’ scrum half Ashley Mattin spun the ball out wide for Andrew Sherlock to ghost over the line.
But Deepings got the win and a bonus point for the seven-point margin of victory.
DEEPINGS: Coupland, Peacock, Silverwood, Hayward, Peacock, Harrison, Leiper, Trotman, Charity, Owen, Squires, Morton, Towers, Whitby, Jones. Subs: Gilbert, Rogers, Rippon, Broome, McCaskie.
BEDFORD SWIFTS: Sohota, Masters, Suns, Colnet, Sherlock, Rowling, Harley, Adde, Mattin, Allen, Payne, Dowler, Powell, Falces, Robson. Subs: Dela, Schaffer, James, Kearnan, Rowland.
TRIES: Hayward, Silverwood (three, for Deepings), Rowland, Sherlock (Bedford Swifts)
PENALTY: Robson (Bedford Swifts).
CONVERSIONS: Owen (two for Deepings), Robson (two for Bedford Swifts).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Fraser Leiper (Deepings; Paul Robson (Bedford Swifts).
Also in Midlands Four East (South), Bourne lost their second away game in a row after a 34-26 defeat at Brackley.
In Midlands Two East (North), Spalding are now bottom after a 29-19 loss at Market Bosworth left Town 0-4 for the season so far.