Darlington Colts V DMP Colts
Clash between local rivals produces a wonderful display of rugby in a fitting tribute to Patrick Schaible.
Following the cancellation of their friendly fixture in September, DMP and Darlington Colts were keen to get stuck into their first league encounter of the season in which a victory for either team would guarantee some much needed league points. With Darlington Colts steadily improving following every fixture, DMP knew they would be facing stern opposition and would need to raise their game from previous weeks if they were to secure the win and the valuable league points.
Following a minutes silence in respect of Patrick Schaible, a former Darlington Colts player who was tragically killed the previous weekend, both teams were keen to hear the referee’s whistle to commence the game and honour the memory of Patrick in a heavily contested game of rugby, watched on by a good crowd of supporters.
From the whistle, Darlington RFC were keen to take the fight to DMP, which saw them applying early pressure to the DMP defensive line and after only a couple of minutes, due to exploiting the lacklustre defensive efforts from DMP, Darlington Colts soon crossed over the DMP try line, securing their 1st try of the game. This was followed up with a successful conversion with the hosts leading 7 – 0 after only three minutes played.
The restart saw Darlington receive the ball and again attack the DMP defensive line, trying to assert their dominance on the visitors, however, having been met by a wall of DMP players, Darlington were held in the middle ground of the pitch which subsequently allowed for some heavily contested breakdowns to be played out by both sides. Due to both teams making a number of small handing errors, an abundance of scrums soon followed, which both teams again evenly contested. As the game continued though the first half, DMP soon began turning on the power, instigating a fight back, which saw them being rewarded with a well-deserved try, scored by Louis and a conversion by Callum.
With the score now, level at 7 points apiece, DMP were keen to capitalise on their growing confidence, and capitalise they did.
Following an intense period of great rugby by both teams, DMP began turning up the pressure and soon crossed over the Darlington try line securing 2 unanswered try’s. The first by Conor and the second by Sam (U18’s), with further points being added by Callum having seen both conversions sail cleanly through the posts. As the referee signalled the end of the first half, the score saw the hosts trailing 7 – 21, but having conceded numerous trivial penalties throughout the first half, DMP knew they needed to sharpen their game and their discipline if they were to secure the win.
The second half saw DMP continue with their first half performance and after some great team work in which the ball moved from one side of the pitch to the other with ease, Louis ran in his 2nd try of the game, which was successfully converted, resulting in the hosts now trailing 7 – 28. This try was the kick needed by Darlington who following the restart, came out fighting and began applying their own style of pressure to DMP, resulting in the visitors camping out on their own try line defending a flurry of Darlington attacking plays. If wasn’t a matter of ‘could Darlington score a try’, it was a matter of ‘when’ and the crowd didn’t need to wait long, following a period of increasing pressure, Darlington soon crossed over the DMP try line and secured a well-deserved try, sadly the conversion was missed but only just. The hosts now trailed 12 – 28.
The quick restart by DMP caught the hosts unprepared and following an intensive period of pressure by DMP, Louis soon found himself crossing the Darlington try line, securing a hat trick of try’s, which was further converted by Callum taking the score to 12 – 35. This try came from some wonderful team effort rugby, however, not wanting to be outdone; Darlington soon started turning the screws back onto DMP and following another great period of attacking play; they soon crossed the DMP try line securing 2 unanswered try’s. The only respite DMP received was that both Darlington conversions went wide of the posts.
As the game edged into the final minutes, the hosts were now 22 – 35 and with their confidence high, a potential upset was on the cards. However, following a great back line break by DMP, BEN KING soon found himself attacking a gap created between the Darlington centres and secured DMP their 6th try of the game, taking the score to 22 – 40 and out of the reach of Darlington. With Sam Butterfield narrowly missing the conversion, no sooner had the restart began, the referee blew the final whistle sounding the end of the game and with that, a hard fought win for DMP.
This was a great performance by both teams and played in the best of best of spirits to honour the memory of Patrick and it was a privilege for DMP to be involved. Thankyou to Darlington RFC for hosting the game and for providing a wonderful display of rugby.
A great effort by all DMP players to secure the win and the all-important 5 league points, which will see them raise further in the table. With increasingly difficult games ahead of them including the 2nd round of the County Cup, the team will again need to challenge themselves to constantly improve on both their team and individual performances in the weeks ahead.