DMP Comeback Falls Just Short
Mowden take a losing bonus point from their trip to Rosslyn Park FC
An entertaining encounter, where a late DMPRFC comeback wasn't enough to overcome a hungrier Rosslyn Park FC, who ran in two tries in the final two minutes of the game to run out winners, adding a much needed 5 points to their efforts to extricate themselves from the lower echelons of the National League One table.
As has been a feature in games this season, DMPRFC gave themselves far too much to do after the hosts had strolled into a 24 - 7 first half lead.
DMPRFC lacked effort and commitment before oranges and were lacklustre in a poor first half performance, which gave no indication of their 2nd place in the league status.
However, taking nothing away from Rosslyn Park FC, they entered the fray with purpose and were determined from the off to take the game to their higher league placed opponents from the North East.
As the game progressed, only a fifth minute penalty from home centre Harry Leonard separated the two teams (3 - 0), as an arm -wrestle for forward dominance engaged the watching crowd. The home pack were having success in the scrums and the visitors were finding it difficult to hit the target in the lineouts, missing opportunities to score from catch and drive efforts.
A speculative high ball into the heart of the visitors defence was gathered by the hosts, allowing DMPRFC old boy and Rosslyn Park FC full back Henry Robinson to score after a mazy run took him through floundering defenders and under the posts. (8 - 0). The extras were added by Leonard. (10 - 0)
With scrum and lineout not functioning effectively for the visitors, Rosslyn Park's forwards seemed the more cohesive and it was no surprise when their pack shunted their DMPRFC counterparts over the line for a pushover try, dotted down by their impressive skipper and No. 8 Hugo Ellis, (15 - 0) with a comfortable conversion from Leonard (17 - 0).
Struggling for parity, DMPRFC went further behind when home centre Andrew Henderson broke through the visitors defensive line, to feed supporting winger Oliver Hassell-Collins who stretched over in the corner to extend the home sides lead, (22 - 0), Leonard easily converting. (24 - 0)
DMPRFC came to life in the final minutes of the first half and after replacements forwards in the form of Joe Craggs, Talite Vaioleti and Adam Brocklebank were introduced, the visitors stepped up their game and after good progress, full back Grant Connon scampered over for their first points (24 - 5). The conversion from fly half Warren Seals (24 - 7) heralded the referees whistle for oranges, but importantly DMPRFC had laid early foundations for some form of second half recovery.
Stalwart DMPRFC away supporters are well aware of DMPRFC's capability to come back after first half disappointment, when the home side were awarded an early penalty, the signs didn't auger well for scoreboard parity.
The kick from Leonard hit the posts and DMPRFC managed to clear the danger, which appeared to be the catalyst for recovery.
For the next half an hour, DMPRFC proceeded to dismantle the home side minute by minute, with Rosslyn Park RFC, despite the best efforts of home flanker Arthur Ellis who put a massive 'shift' in to try and stem the blue and white tide.
During this period of DMPRFC total dominance, tries were scored by fly half SEALS, scrum half Matt Dudman and lock Joe Craggs, one of the tries being converted by SEALS, the other by centre Garry Law.
The last try from CRAGGS, was not converted, however this had given the visitors the try bonus point, but more importantly pushed DMPRFC into the lead (24 - 26), with only seven minutes of the game remaining.
Just as the first half belonged to Rosslyn Park FC, the second half seemed to have belonged to DMPRFC, who at that time thought they'd done enough to win the game.
Whether it was the fact that Rosslyn Park needed or wanted the win more, or DMPRFC thought the game was over and the win now attained, it was the home side who against the odds sparked to life, scoring two converted tries in the final three minutes of this thrilling game. First winger Ben Marfo found himself an easy run in wide out, (29 - 26) but made the conversion for Leonard easier with a run around in the dead ball area to touch down. (31 - 26). The second, with DMPRFC apparently stunned by the first, came after the restart was not fielded by the visitors, allowing possession for the hosts, who attacked one final time, with home skipper Ellis touching down to extend the lead (36 - 26) and with the conversion from Leonard added (38 - 26), Rosslyn Park, in persevering for the win, arguably put together their best performance of the season.