Mowden go top with 5 point win over Cambridge
Tries from Seals (2), Uzokwe (2) and Connon send DMP to the top of the National one table
Three straight league wins sees DMPRFC top of the National League One table with a 100% record and three try-bonus points in their 15 point total.
Cambridge RFC became the latest side to succumb to some early season promise for the faithful at the Northern Echo Arena and DMPRFC are enjoying the their spot at the top of the table.
DMPRFC were good for their win, even though struggled to get any momentum going in a first half, which was littered with errors from both sides.
Success came very early for the visitors, in fact after only two minutes to be precise, as a penalty conceded by the home side was kicked to the corner. When a catch and drive effort from the resulting lineout failed, the Cambridge pack sought to carve through some poor home defence, which proved a success and hooker Ean Griffiths forced the ball over the line for the score (0 - 5). With the extras provided by fly half Jack Green (0 - 7), DMPRFC were caught cold.
With the stalwart back row man and ex-Northampton Saints player Darren Fox in their ranks, the home pack were guaranteed a tough afternoon and this proved to be the case, as he led his forwards well and things were very combatant in the scum and contact areas.
After the initial shock to the system, DMPRFC gained a healthy share of possession, but for the first quarter could not break down a stern visitors defence who initially held firm.
DMPRFC evened up the scoreboard, when from a penalty, this time awarded against Cambridge RFC, home fly half Warren Seals kicked to the corner. As had befallen Cambridge some minutes earlier, the catch and drive lineout effort was held, but the ball was spun out to SEALS who sliced through a grasping home defence to score (5 - 7), composing himself to convert his own try (7 - 7).
Cambridge RFC were reduced in numbers after fifteen minutes, when over-eager winger Michael Ayrton chased a high kick and when the ball was deftly caught by home scrum half Matt Dudman, the visiting winger forgot to let DUDMAN'S feet touch the ground and up-ended him, swiftly receiving his ten-minute 'cooler' experience for his troubles.
However, DMPRFC failed to capitalise on the visitors reduction in playing numbers and in fact found themselves further behind, courtesy of a well taken penalty from Green as DMPRFC were penalised at the ruck (7 - 10).
It looked like this would be the score at 'oranges', but for the introduction of prop Darren Fearn and flanker Simon Uzokwe, who added some necessary bite to the game.
Just as things looked to peter out to the interval, a quick tap penalty, taken by home centre Ben Frankland brought rewards for DMPRFC as he made incursions into the visitors half, linking with lock Jake Brady in support, who offloaded to full back Grant Connon who burst through a non-existent Cambridge RFC defence to score under the posts (12 - 10), SEALS converting (14 - 100, heralding the half-time whistle.
It is fair to say that perhaps Cambridge RFC could count themselves unlucky to be behind at the break, as they matched their hosts for the 40-minutes, however, sometimes 'that's how it goes'.
Both sides emerged from the break intent on 'giving it a go', as the game appeared there for the side that wanted it the most.
It was DMPRFC who put their hand up first, after ten minutes of the re-start, when Cambridge found themselves losing the ball, which found its way into the welcoming hands of home prop Jack PANE who made significant progress into the visitors half, eventually feeding flanker UZOKWE, who powered to the line for his second try in as many weeks (19 - 10), the conversion from SEALS (21 - 10) heralding a widening gap on the scoreboard, which from then on never looked like being narrowed by the visitors.
As the game entered the last quarter, other replacements were introduced by both teams, but it was the home side again who scored the try, against the run of play, as Cambridge 'coughed up' the ball in attack,which was gathered by centre FRANKLAND, who charged off in the opposite direction in earnest, feeding the ball to a supporting SEALS, who motored in for his brace (26 - 10), sufficiently calming himself to add the extras (28 - 10).
The game threatened to leave Cambridge behind at this stage as UZOKWE netted his second try. DMPRFC were held up over the Cambridge line and awarded a 5-metre scrum. A penalty was awarded when Cambridge came under pressure and a quick tap brought reward for the flanker who muscled in from close range (33 - 10), SEALS again converting (35 - 10).
Credit to Cambridge RFC, they never gave up and were rewarded with a late consolation with a well worked try by winger Ayrton, who went some way to make amends for his earlier transgression (35 - 15).
The conversion miss brought the final whistle.