Mowden Make It 7 Straight With Win at Old Elthamians
DMP hold on for a big win from Saturday's trip to College Meadow.
Tough slog and hard graft aptly describes DMPRFC's first trip to Old Elthamians RFC's HQ and although the visitors headed back up the M1 with the win and another 4 league points, they knew they'd been in a game.
Very rarely have DMPRFC been 'shut out' after oranges, however the hard working home side never gave in and could consider themselves unlucky to have only gained a losing bonus for their endeavours on a miserably wet day.
In the first half, two yellow cards within the space of 2 minutes could have signalled disaster for Old Elthamians RFC, but they managed to sustain little damage from a points perspective, as a combination of wrong options and poor handling from the visitors, coupled with some dogged home defence meant that there was no real advantage to DMPRFC, which nearly cost them the game.
An penalty for the home side, when the match official decided that DMPRFC had dropped a scrummage, ensured that home fly half Joseph Carlisle had an early chance to put his side ahead, which he duly obliged after only 4 minutes (3 - 0).
DMPRFC responded 4 minutes later, when a similar distance penalty was kicked to the corner and following a strong catch and drive, prop Alfie Barron touched down (3 - 5), fly half Warren Seals missing a difficult conversion.
Both sets of forwards put in a tough shift, battering away at each other, with Lock Adam Preocanin and flanker Hamish Barton prominent for the home eight and lock Talite Vaioleti and Jack Payne equally as prominent for the visitors.
In the space of 2 minutes, Old Elthamians RFC were reduced to thirteen combatants, when first hooker Nathan Morris was sin-binned for tackling a player whilst in the air. The incident was marginal, the result harsh, however, the official carried out what he believed to be the right course of action and Morris went to the 'cooler'.
He was then joined by fellow front rower Alexander Rogers, who instead of walking away from a stand-off with a DMPRFC player, he decided to slap his opponent across the face, directly in front of one of the referee's assistants and after much debate, endured the walk of shame and sat out for 10 minutes.
DMPRFC did manage to take advantage of Old Elthamians reduction in numbers, when wing Callum Mackenzie benefitted from a chip ahead from fly half Brett Connon, collecting the ball and sliding in the corner for the try (3 - 10), SEALS converting (3 - 12).
However, any thoughts of DMPRFC running up a decent points advantage evaporated and a hard working home side were rewarded for their rear guard efforts, when returned to a full complement.
Next, a long range penalty attempt from Carlisle fell short of the target, but in their efforts to clear, DMPRFC defenders managed to knock the ball forward. A scrum resulted, which then resulted in a period of sustained, but self inflicted pressure on the visitors line. When DMPRFC thought they'd managed to survive, a gap appeared wide out and home winger James Golledge squeezed into the corner for the try (8 - 10). Carlisle missed the conversion.
DMPRFC's response was immediate, as hooker Chris Wood scored, converted by SEALS to give the visitors an advantage at the break (8 - 19).
Both sets of players were glad of the break as the fine rain had persisted for all of the first 40 minutes, soaking the players, the pitch and the supporters in attendance, which contained a healthy 'Mowden Family' contingent.
Old Elthamians rallied after oranges, taking the game to their higher placed league opposition.
Fly half Carlisle kicked two penalties as the home side reduced the arrears and sniffed a victory, in a very competitive second half which tested the defences of both sides.
Some excellent defence was evident from DMPRFC, however they were not able to add to their first half tally, starved of any meaningful possession with which to mount any concerted attacks.
As the game appeared to edge further into 'time added on' Old Elthamians tried everything to win the game, however DMPRFC dogged it out and the final whistle was a welcome end to their endeavours.