Centurions snap losing streak with draw against Northants

Joe Shaw marked his return to action with two tries against Northampton.

Joe Shaw marked his return to action with two tries against Northampton. - Credit: Archant

TONY Bottomley is hoping his team has turned a corner after Centurions snapped a four-game losing streak with a draw against Northampton.

Gareth Waters

Gareth Waters - Credit: Archant

Cents won their opening game of the season against Northampton in April but have endured a torrid time since then with four heavy losses. But Bottomley’s side showed their true character by overcoming a 16-4 half time deficit to draw 22-all.

And it could have been a win, according to Bottomley, if his side had given kicker Gareth Waters an easier target.

“I know it sounds simple, but we must get our try scorers to score nearer the posts so our kicker has a better chance of converting these tries,” he said.

“This was definitely a game of two halves. Whereas some teams would have been disheartened coming out in the second half, our boys rose above it and dominated the remainder of the game.

“I have to mention two outstanding players in David Coyle and Andy Lake, two work horses, who between them made over 50 tackles today. Andy, who was playing with a knee injury, is averaging 24 tackles a game this season.

“This was a great second half display by the lads and I hope it is the turning point of our season.”

Most Read

Having already beaten Demons once this year Cents were given further pre-match boosts by the return of last year’s player of the season Joe Shaw to the squad and new signing Simon Paige was making his debut.

The opening 10 minutes was end to end but gradually the Northampton team began to dominate, scoring twice after Cents knocked on twice in a row.

Fortunes changed slightly when Demons gave away a series of penalties resulting in Cents’ Brad Webber crashing over in the corner for an unconverted try. And they seemed poised for a fight back but silly penalties alleviated the pressure and allowed Northampton to bolster their half-time lead with a converted try.

A different Cents team emerged after the break and they took control of the game. The inevitable try came from Shaw who added another in a 10-minute spell of dominance. Both tries were converted by full back Gareth Waters.

Cents had two tries ruled out by the referee before Demons added their fourth score.

Undeterred, Matt Stringer and Rob Holbrook scored unconverted tries in a dramatic conclusion to the game, which Cents could have snatched if not for a dogged Demons defence.

Cents have a free week next weekend before travelling to play third place Nottingham Outlaws on June 2.