ROSSLYN PARK 38-7 DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK
SATURDAY 18th NOVEMBER
By RHYS STRATTON
The 1st XV made it three wins on the bounce on Saturday with a comprehensive 38-7 win over Darlington Mowden Park.
Rosslyn Park opened the scoring early after a strong maul on halfway left space for Dan Hiscocks to exploit as the scrumhalf sniped down the blindside and found a trailing Charlie Walker who cut inside his man and dotted down. Park kept the pressure on the visitors in the opening quarter, spending a lot of time inside the DMP final third and coming close to scoring twice more as the team looked to exploit space left out wide by a narrow defensive gameplan. Unfortunately, both times a floated miss pass failed to go to hand and the chances went begging. However, soon after relieving some of this territorial pressure, the visitors launched an attack from a lineout near halfway which saw fullback Josh Ree hit a hard line and dive over three phases later.
Park retook the lead late in the first half through a try from Hiscocks and extended it with a Josh Bragman penalty. Following an attacking lineout in a dangerous position the ball was spread to the opposite touchline to spark a Walker break before two huge dominant carries from Matt Gordon and Jacob Wrafter worked the ball down inside the DMP 5m line. A quick-thinking Hiscocks spotted the opportunity to go quickly, picked-and-went and dived over. Then, as time expired in the half, the visitors were penalised for holding on at a midfield breakdown before some back chat saw them marched back 10m. This moved the penalty mark into DMP territory and inside Bragman’s range. The outside-half stepped up and coolly slotted the kick to end the first period.
In the second half, when the linesman deemed the ball to have been carried back into the DMP 22 before a clearing kick sailed straight into touch, Park were handed an attacking lineout in a dangerous position. The error was duly punished as a clinical attack from the set-piece resulted in Bragman strolling in under the posts on the second phase.Incredibly, Park scored again almost immediately from the restart as the visitors bobbled the clearing box kick, allowing Player of the Match Arthur Ellis to gather in the loose ball and produce a slick offload under pressure to Walker who ran the ball in for his second.
With 25 minutes left to play, James Stokes ran in the final score of the match as he got on the end of some outstanding offloading. Bragman sparked the attack when he got a hand to a contested DMP clearance and tapped the ball back to Theo Manihera. The centre scooped up the ball, carried forward and cleverly offloaded to Benji Marfo who in turn produced a sumptuous offload of his own to the trailing Stokes.
Despite the comfortable lead, Park refused to switch off and were able to hold DMP scoreless across the entire second half despite some promising attacks for the hosts late on. In fact, Park almost added to the lead on the final play of the game as Bragman hacked on a loose pass that had gone to ground. The fly-half chased the kick himself and was inches away from touching it down before the ball was kicked out the back of the dead ball area by a covering defender to bring the match to a close.
Referee: Ben Wood
Tries: Walker (6’, 49’), Hiscocks (35’), Bragman (47’), Stokes (54’)
Conversions: Bragman (7’, 36’, 48’, 50’, 55’)
Penalties: Bragman (40’)
Yellow Cards: N/A
Rosslyn Park: Garvey, Miller, Hay, Burton, Spencer, Bolwell, Ellis, Wrafter, Hiscocks, Bragman, Marfo, Gordon, Manihera, Walker, Stokes
Replacements: Cameron, Pieterse, Stevenson, Baldwin, Trimble
DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK
Tries: Ree (20’)
Conversions: Ollivent (21’)
Yellow Cards: Yates (22’)
DMP: Barron, Fraine, Harrison, Usher, Craggs, Fantini, Jones, Hodgson, Pascoe, Ollivent, Yates, Holgate, Frankland, Greenwood, Ree
Replacements: Guest, Kyle-Klay, Vaioleti, Scott, Hadfield
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Birmingham Moseley 19 – 17 Blackheath
Bishop’s Stortford 7 – 26 Chinnor
Rams 24 – 10 Cinderford
Richmond 36 – 22 Plymouth Albion
Sedgley Park 26 – 11 Sale FC
Taunton Titans 17 – 27 Leicester Lions
This past weekend’s round of fixtures saw Birmingham Moseley, Rams, Richmond and Sedgley Park all join Park in picking up wins at home. Elsewhere, Chinnor and Leicester each came away with big wins on the road over Bishop’s Stortford and Taunton respectively. The Rams victory coupled with Plymouth’s loss at The RAG means the Reading outfit retake their spot at the top of the table, but also results in the top 5 teams now being separated solely by bonus points. Amazingly, all 5 sides have identical records having each won 7 and lost 3, whilst a resurgent Park sits just outside this group with 6 wins.
Up Next for Park is a lengthy away trip to Manchester to take on Sale FC