HAVING swept aside all-comers for most of this season, Market Harborough under-13s had to battle hard to come through a much sterner challenge at Biggleswade.
The home side were unbeaten so far this season and showed their determination from the first kick.
The opening quarter was a tense affair with Biggleswade throwing their strong-running backs at the visitors.
Despite the pressure, Harborough proved themselves up to the task and cleared their lines, Tom Pope kicking out of defence well from full-back.
Strong rucking from both teams was the order of the day, but Harborough gradually exerted their dominance in the forwards.
A series of powerful rucks saw Will Hallam pick up from the base and gallop over the line for the first try.
The conversion from out wide was missed, but the wound was inflicted.
Much like Harborough, Biggleswade do not make a habit of conceding, so the score against gave them a psychological mountain to climb.
Henry Povoas, at No 8, made his customary driving runs for Harborough, although Biggleswade were clinging on to contain him.
But he had the presence of mind to take a quick lineout, which allowed Max Dalby to run through a broken field and dive over the line for the second try, making it 10-0 at half-time.
Even though Harborough were ahead, the game was far from won. Cameron Jordan provided strong support all game and offloaded to Ross Primrose, who tore off for the line but was hauled down just short.
But the team stole the ball at the lineout that followed and Povoas finished to take the score to 15-0.
Kieran Silcott was running well on the wing again, often on the shoulder of his No 8. He was unfortunate to be bundled into touch by the last man, but still gave Harborough ground.
Povoas sealed the game with a final try from the base of a scrum, this time running behind the posts to give Pope a decent shot at goal.
He successfully converted to make the final score 22-0.
The Harborough boys knew they had been in a hard, demanding game.
They met a side who matched them for size, strength and skill, however they won by playing well as a team and squad, every player showing his commitment to win the ball.