DMPRFC 2nds 8 v 25 Tynedale Raiders
On a day when the quality of the rugby deteriorated with the weather, Tynedale Raiders recorded a deserved win over a somewhat depleted Mowden side.
The match started in bright, fine conditions, and the home side took the game to their opponents for most of the first half. They were hampered by a lack of incisive runners in the backs, however, and after a series of red-zone penalties, settled for three points from Mark Bell
on 22 minutes, when normally they would have gone for seven. Six minutes later, a Tynedale flanker saw yellow for a high tackle, but the one-man advantage did little for the home side, who picked that precise moment to drop the ball and hand a run-in to the visitors’ centre. The conversion was a formality, and 7 – 3 became 10 – 3 before the sin-bin was over, as handling on the floor allowed the simplest of chances for the Raiders’ kicker.
The home side felt somewhat unlucky to be behind at the break and all the talk was about doing more of the same with fewer mistakes, so it was irritating in the extreme to concede again straight from the restart. An innocuous deep kick was poorly dealt with, eventually being scrambled into touch on the home five metre line, gifting the away side the perfect position. A classic catch-and-drive added five more points to the visitors’ total, and they led 15 – 3 on 42 minutes. With the rain now intensifying, handling was getting more difficult, and the home side was guilty of trying to force it. Inevitably, mistakes were made, and Tynedale added another three points from a simple penalty awarded for not releasing. A spilled ball following the kick-off presented the away team’s left winger with a run-in, and a fine conversion moved the score to 25 – 3, ending the game as a contest. With a quarter of the game still to go, the home side could have succumbed to a rout, but instead they managed to tighten up, and in fact had the better of the last 20 minutes. Their efforts were rewarded with a fine try from fullback, John Allison
, who cut a great line onto a pass from scrum-half and man-of-the-match, Danny Winter
, to go in close to the posts. A drop-goaled conversion failed, but did at least leave enough time for a final play from which the home side almost scored again. If they had, the narrower victory margin may have better reflected the game, but it wasn’t to be, and Raiders were good value for their 25 – 8 victory.