As a result of our 39-28 win at Rossendale last Saturday Hull RUFC ended the season with a better playing record than the runners-up in the Midlands Premier League and therefore earned the right to stage the play-off against Peterborough Lions RUFC at the Ferens Ground on Saturday (3pm).
Our opponents have had a very good season having been in second place most of the campaign behind the eventual champions Birmingham Solihull, who co-incidentally, were among the three clubs relegated from National Two North at the end of season 2014-15, the other two being Stockport and ourselves.
This will be the very first time that the two clubs have met and I can say with certainty that we have never even played a club from Cambridgeshire, never mind one that represents one of that county’s major cities.
Peterborough can trace their origins back to 1944 when a group of workers from the Baker Perkins engine factory formed a side to take on a Free French Air Force side based at Westwood Aerodrome. From that beginning Westwood RUFC were born and they remained as tenants at the aerodrome until the re-location of APV Baker in the late 1980s. They then moved to Phropres Sports Club, Stanground College, and later to Deaken ACS School.
Westwood RUFC were them promoted into East Midlands Division One in 2000-01, missing the championship spot on point scoring difference. They were relegated in 2003-14. The club changed their name to Peterborough Lions RUFC in 2005 and played their home games at the home of Peterborough United AFC before moving to the East of England Showground for the 2007-08 season.
They moved to their present Bretton Park ground for the start of the 2009-10 season which heralded a very successful period in the clubs history. In season 2011-12 the Lions became champions of Midlands Two East (South) and in 2013-14 they became the Midlands One (East) champions. In their first season in National Three Midlands in 2014-15 they finished third and in the three subsequent seasons finished fourth, fourth, and finally second and in the play-off for promotion to National Two North.
A look at the playing records of both clubs gives an indication of how well-matched they are:
P W D L F A +/- BP Pts
Hull RUFC 26 20 3 3 815 346 475 20 106
Peterborough Lions 26 21 0 5 894 500 394 18 102
It is worth remembering that this will be the second time that Hull RUFC appeared in a divisional play-off. At the end of season 2008-09 Hull finished second to Westoe RUFC and gained a home tie against Chester RUFC. On a glorious sunny day Hull totally outclassed the men from Cheshire to post a 40-12 win, which heralded a six-year tenure of National Two North. We would very much like to return to that division.
Compiled by Norman Angell.