DMP take maximum points from their trip to league leaders Coventry!
A Callum Mackenzie hat-trick helps Mowden to a huge win at the Butts Park Arena!
Photo Credit - John Coles - www.johncolesphotography.com
A superb all round display from DMPRFC put an end to Coventry RFC’s 25-game unbeaten home record, scoring six tries in the process.
The win ensured that the visitors cemented their second place finish, the highest ever league position achieved in the history.
No better incentive for this game was the opportunity to redress the result the last time the two teams met at the Northern Echo Arena when DMPRFC were ‘lucky to get nil’.
Coventry RFC, having already achieved the National League One title, were paraded before their adoring fans prior to the game, as the players came together on halfway prior to the kick-off, to observe a minutes silence to remember an ex-player, who had recently passed away.
Post match comments from Coventry’s Director of Rugby Roland Winter alluded to the performance ‘not being good enough’ and ‘unacceptable’, calling it a ‘poor show’, letting themselves and the crowd down, failed to acknowledge how well they did play, but that DMPRFC played better.
The game was a fantastic advert for National League One rugby, where some terrific tries were scored, with penalties successful from the half way line and conversions kicked from long and difficult positions on the field by three excellent kickers on show.
It was the visitors who started the brighter, retaining possession in the early minutes and mounting several attacks, forcing the home side into some tough defence from the off, the game being played entirely in Coventry’s territory.
An early penalty from home stand off and the league’s top points kicker Will Maisey after DMPRFC were adjudged to be offside by referee Mr Daniel Collins who ultimately went on to have a good game throughout in difficult circumstances which unfolded late in the game.
So it was somewhat against the run of play, when the home side broke the deadlock, after a close range effort from hooker Scott Tolmie following a catch and drive lineout (5 – 0), Will Maisey adding the conversion. (7 – 0)
Within two minutes DMPRFC were back level, when in full flow, centre Ben Frankland drew the last defender and timed a perfect passs to winger Callum Mackenzie who stormed over for the score, in what was a memorable day for him (7 – 0), Warren Seals converting. (7 – 7)
DMPRFC were deserving of the next score, when the visiting backs combined to make progress well into home territory and when full back Grant Connon took possession within the 5-metre line, there was only one outcome (7 – 12), converted by SEALS (7 – 14).
DMPRFC were then hampered, as scrum half Maia Gibbs injured his arm and had to withdraw, forcing an early introduction for Jack Blakeney-Edwards, into the scrum half berth, where he battled bravely, despite a lack of experience in that role.
Will Maisey added a penalty for Coventry RFC, when DMPRFC were penalised at the ruck (10 – 14) and it wasn’t too long after that Coventry went ahead from a penalty try, awarded after visiting loose head prop Alfie Barron received a yellow card for consecutive scrum infringements. He was replaced by stalwart Ralph Appleby and when the scrum went down similarly, Mr Collins awarded the penalty try under the posts, with no requirement for the extras. (17 – 14)
In this game of attack and counter attack, DMPRFC responded, CONNON scoring his second try when he took possession of the ball, speeding quickly across a line of defenders, leaving them in his wake as he went from one side of the field to the other to score (17 – 19), SEALS converting. (17 – 21)
So at oranges, DMPRFC had edged ahead in an enthralling game.
Still reduced in number, DMPRFC were quickly punished as the second half began, with two tries excellently executed by wing Max Trimble, with both converted by Maisey (31 – 21) and suddenly the home side had opened up a decent gap in the space of two minutes.
At this stage, replacements were introduced by both teams in an effort to bring fresh legs into the arena.
However, even in adversity and despite having received a near fatal double salvo, the day was far too important for a determined DMPRFC team.
In fight back mode, the first blow against the home side was struck literally with a superb half way line penalty from visiting centre Garry Law, who dissected the uprights with aplomb. (31 – 24)
As the game approached the final quarter, DMPRFC struck with two tries. The first went to Warren Seals, who crowned a very good game with a try which he converted, (31 – 31) to draw the sides level.
SEALS then kicked a well struck penalty to edge DMPRFC ahead (31 – 34), before winger MACKENZIE grabbed his second try (31 – 41) now giving the visitors a 10-point cushion.
Unfortunately, at this key time, the game was interrupted for 15-minutes, quite correctly, on the advice of the medical staff in attendance, as DMPRFC player Jack Blakeney-Edwards lay stricken on the turf with a perceived neck injury. Ultimately stretchered from the field to a sympathetic round of applause from the 2,000+ crowd in attendance, the game resumed and Coventry tried to redress the scoreboard.
In a pulsating final 10 minutes, Coventry added an unconverted try from centre Heath Stevens. (36 – 41)
However not to be outdone, DMPRFC had the ‘last laugh’ as MACKENZIE powered in for his hat trick for a final score or 36 – 46.
Great game, great result for DMPRFC, who deserved their win.
All the very best to our friends Coventry RFC in the Championship – they deserved it !!