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1st Team - Match centre

Darlington Mowden Park
Plymouth Albion
G Connon, S McCartney, O Hodgson (2), T Vaioleti
Full time
H Skinner, D Mugford, R Freestone, E Grace, J Kelly
B Connon (4)
D Mugford, D Mugford, D Mugford
Sat 28 Oct 14:00 - RFU National - National 1

Mowden Leave It Late To Snatch Thrilling Victory

An incredible game at the Arena sees DMP move up to 2nd in the National One table

'You could hear a pin drop', as home fly half Brett Connon lined up to take the conversion that would overhaul Plymouth Albion RFC's points total and win this National League One contest with the last kick of this enthralling. game at the Northern Echo Arena.
By no means an easy task. Not just because of the pressure of such an important kick, but also at 25 metres out and at a difficult angle, it was 'no gimme'.

However, the strike which followed was the sweetest of his kicks all day and assuredly dissected the uprights heralding scenes on and off the pitch that were reminiscent of the play-off game against Ampthill & District RFC.

In most respects, the final minutes of the game were identical to that promotion winning game, with a passage of play resulting in a try that took the home side from their own half and over the try line, with Ben Frankland this time replacing Zylon McGaffin as the scorer and although the previous conversion was immaterial, this time the kick was vital.

Mowden Park v Plymouth Albion 28th Oct 2017
71 photos

So DMPRFC gained the maximum 5-points in this game and to be fair to Plymouth Albion RFC, their 2-point haul was probably a lot less than they deserved in a 10-try thriller.

Despite some early possession for the visitors, it was perhaps against the run of play when the Connon brothers combined, Brett feeding Grant a deft pass in midfield and the home full back's speed took him through the visitors defensive line, touching down under the posts (5 - 0), with Brett converting (7 - 0).

Plymouth Albion didn't take much longer to respond and when they did, they threatened to end the home sides chances of winning, with a hat-trick of tries in the space of less than 10 minutes.

The first came after an overlap was manufactured by the influential Plymouth fly half Daniel Mugford, with centre Harvey Skinner touching down as last man (7 - 5). The conversion from Mugford was wide.

A similar overlap developed two minutes later, but this time Mugford exploited a stretched defence, finding a gap himself, touching down (7 - 10) and converting his own try putting Plymouth into the lead (7 - 12).

Plymouth's third try was scored by influential hooker Rupert Freestone, who latched on to a catch and drive lineout to dot down, with the home side reeling from the try salvo (7 - 17). Mugford missed the conversion.

Just before the interval, DMP managed to construct their second try from what appeared to be a missed opportunity when an attacking lineout was won by the visitors. When Plymouth tried to break out of defence they too lost the ball after good work from home flanker Dave Fisher who was playing against his former club. The ball was whisked out to home wing Shaun McCartney who beat the lone defender and crashed over (12 - 17). Brett Connon added a difficult conversion from the touchline (14 - 17).

So at oranges, the game was finely balanced and the expectation from the crowd of the next 40 minutes was palpable.

It was the home side that took the first steps to win the game, when home No. 8 and skipper Ollie Hodgson added two tries in the space of two minutes.

His first came courtesy of a blistering break from DMP winger Adam Radwan who jinked his way deep into Plymouth territory before offloading to powerful flanker Simon Uzokwe who continued the move. As the ball was recycled, No. 8 Hodgson forced his way over from close range (19 - 17), Brett Connon converting, taking DMPRFC ahead (21 - 17).

From the restart, DMP made good territory, with Uzokwe carrying well together with an explosive burst by lock Talite Vaioleti who's handling skills brought reward passing the ball to McCartney who's assured footwork allowed him to dance along the touchline. taking out defenders in his wake, before being stopped just short of the line. The ball was spun out to No. 8 Hodgson who crashed over for his brace (26 - 17). The conversion was missed by Brett Connon, but DMP had their try bonus point.

This was never going to be enough at this stage, as Plymouth took the game to the home side, with a pushover try via No. 8 Eoghan Grace (26 - 22), easily converted from near to the posts from Mugford (26 - 24) to edge Plymouth within two points of the home total.

In fact Plymouth took the lead with ten minutes to go when a defensive lineout was lost by DMP and possession to Plymouth led to replacement John Kelly scoring a vital try (26 - 29), converted by Mugford (26 - 31), leaving DMPRFC 5 points adrift.

With the score at three minutes to go, DMPRFC mounted a last gasp effort from within their own 10-metre line. Home forwards and backs combined to haul themselves into the visitors half and then to within 5 yards. In response to an all out assault to tie the game, Plymouth Albion were forced to resort to conceding penalties, culminating with centre Skinner being sin-binned. As the pressure mounted and the phases continued, the home side edged their way closer until centre Ben Frankland squeezed over to level the scores at 31 - 31.

Brett Connon completed the comeback with the resulting conversion (33 - 31) and in doing so brought the final whistle on what had been a totally enthralling game between two form sides.

Ollie Hodgson

Player of the Match

Ollie Hodgson

Key moments

6:00
Try Grant Connon scores for Darlington Mowden Park
6:30
Conversion Brett Connon kicks a conversion for Darlington Mowden Park
16:00
Try Harvey Skinner scores for Plymouth Albion
18:00
Try Dan Mugford scores for Plymouth Albion
18:30
Conversion Dan Mugford kicks a conversion for Plymouth Albion
26:00
Try Rupert Freestone scores for Plymouth Albion
36:00
Try Shaun McCartney scores for Darlington Mowden Park
36:30
Conversion Brett Connon kicks a conversion for Darlington Mowden Park
50:00
Try Ollie Hodgson scores for Darlington Mowden Park
50:30
Conversion Brett Connon kicks a conversion for Darlington Mowden Park
53:00
Try Ollie Hodgson scores for Darlington Mowden Park
65:00
Try Eoghan Grace scores for Plymouth Albion
65:30
Conversion Dan Mugford kicks a conversion for Plymouth Albion
70:00
Try John Kelly scores for Plymouth Albion
70:30
Conversion Dan Mugford kicks a conversion for Plymouth Albion
80:00
Try Talite Vaioleti scores for Darlington Mowden Park
80:00 +0:30
Conversion Brett Connon kicks a conversion for Darlington Mowden Park

Videos and photos

Highlights

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80:00 +0:30 Conversion 33 - 31
Brett Connon kicks a conversion for Darlington Mowden Park
80:00 Try 31 - 31
Talite Vaioleti scores for Darlington Mowden Park
70:30 Conversion 26 - 31
Dan Mugford kicks a conversion for Plymouth Albion
70:00 Try 26 - 29
John Kelly scores for Plymouth Albion
65:30 Conversion 26 - 24
Dan Mugford kicks a conversion for Plymouth Albion
65:00 Try 26 - 22
Eoghan Grace scores for Plymouth Albion
53:00 Try 26 - 17
Ollie Hodgson scores for Darlington Mowden Park
50:30 Conversion 21 - 17
Brett Connon kicks a conversion for Darlington Mowden Park
50:00 Try 19 - 17
Ollie Hodgson scores for Darlington Mowden Park
End of period 1
40:00 +41:00 Player of the Match
Ollie Hodgson is awarded player of the match for Darlington Mowden Park
36:30 Conversion 14 - 17
Brett Connon kicks a conversion for Darlington Mowden Park
36:00 Try 12 - 17
Shaun McCartney scores for Darlington Mowden Park
26:00 Try 7 - 17
Rupert Freestone scores for Plymouth Albion
18:30 Conversion 7 - 12
Dan Mugford kicks a conversion for Plymouth Albion
18:00 Try 7 - 10
Dan Mugford scores for Plymouth Albion
16:00 Try 7 - 5
Harvey Skinner scores for Plymouth Albion
6:30 Conversion 7 - 0
Brett Connon kicks a conversion for Darlington Mowden Park
6:00 Try 5 - 0
Grant Connon scores for Darlington Mowden Park
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Darlington Mowden Park
  • Plymouth Albion
  • 0
  • Grant Connon Try 6:00'
  • Brett Connon Conversion 6:30'
  • Harvey Skinner Try 16:00'
  • Dan Mugford Try 18:00'
  • Dan Mugford Conversion 18:30'
  • Rupert Freestone Try 26:00'
  • Shaun McCartney Try 36:00'
  • Brett Connon Conversion 36:30'
  • Ollie Hodgson Try 50:00'
  • Brett Connon Conversion 50:30'
  • Ollie Hodgson Try 53:00'
  • Eoghan Grace Try 65:00'
  • Dan Mugford Conversion 65:30'
  • John Kelly Try 70:00'
  • Dan Mugford Conversion 70:30'
  • Talite Vaioleti Try 80:00'
  • Brett Connon Conversion 80:00 +0:30'

Team selection

Connon, Grant Connon, Grant
McCartney, Shaun McCartney, Shaun
Frankland, Ben Frankland, Ben
Law, Garry Law, Garry
Radwan, Adam Radwan, Adam
Connon, Brett Connon, Brett
Dudman, Matt Dudman, Matt
Hodgson, Ollie Hodgson, Ollie
Heaton, Matt Heaton, Matt
Fisher, Dave Fisher, Dave
Preston-Routledge, Dan Preston-Routledge, Dan
Vaioleti, Talite Vaioleti, Talite
Darkintis, Ignas Darkintis, Ignas
Wood, Chris Wood, Chris
Barron, Alfie Barron, Alfie
Plymouth Albion
  • 1. Will Norton
  • 2. Rupert Freestone
  • 3. Dan Pullinger
  • 4. Dan Swain
  • 5. Sean Lonsdale
  • 6. Ed Holmes
  • 7. Sam Daly
  • 8. Eoghan Grace
  • 9. Joe Snow
  • 10. Dan Mugford
  • 11. Jack Arnott
  • 12. Harvey Skinner
  • 13. Seta Raumakita
  • 14. Matt Crosscombe
  • 15. Matt Shepherd
  • 16. Jack Owlett
  • 17. Jamie Salter
  • 18. John Kelly
  • 19. Cam Setter
  • 20. Dean Squire

League round up

Other National 1 results

18
14
Old Albanians
22
39
Ampthill
7
40
Coventry
Fylde
22
26
Birmingham Moseley
34
27
Rosslyn Park

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Coventry 14 68
2. Darlington Mowden Park 14 55
3. Blackheath 14 49
4. Plymouth Albion 13 47
5. Ampthill 14 46
6. Bishop's Stortford 14 45
7. Old Elthamians 14 38

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