Middlesbrough Wasps 20 v 52 DMPRFC 2nds
On a surprisingly good surface following the inclement weather of last week, Mowden 2nds did well to overcome a spirited home side, scoring eight tries in the process.
The determined Wasps pack was competitive throughout, and deprived their visitors of possession for the first ten minutes. When they got it, however, simple 'hands' was enough to outflank an overcommitted home team, and powerful centre, Danny Parker
, strolled over for the opening score. He converted his own try, and three minutes later he was called on to repeat the job as speedy winger, Brandon Asher-Wood
, got outside the narrow 'boro defensive line. It looked ominous for the home side at 14 - 0 after fifteen minutes, but the forwards managed to establish another monopoly of possession for the next fifteen, during which time they bagged a deserved try of their own with a drive down a sparsely-defended blind side. On the half hour, a clean break from mobile prop, Alfie Barron
, led to another try from Asher-Wood, as a perfectly timed pass gave him a simple run-in. Another good conversion from Parker took the score to 21 - 5, but then things began to go wrong for the visitors. Young lock, Callum Burke
, was adjudged to have tackled a player within ten yards of a quickly taken penalty and saw yellow, and from the retaken tap, the home side doubled their tally on 33 minutes. Middlesbrough continued to press, and with a minute of the half remaining, flanker, Alex Dunne
, joined Burke in the sin-bin for illegally impeding a line out drive. Although leading 21- 10 at halftime, the visitors were down to 13 men and a little rattled, and the alarm bells began to ring in earnest when the home side added another score within three minutes of the restart. The gap was down to six points at 21 - 15, but a refocusing of the Mowden game plan by influential skipper, Rory Duff
, ensured this would be as close as it got. A flowing move involving backs and forwards was finished off by hooker, Mark Bell
, to earn the bonus point, and five minutes later, Asher-Wood again escaped down the left to complete an impressive hat trick on the hour mark. Still the away side didn't relent, and another breakout from Asher-Wood led to another try, this time finished by Duff, who did well to anticipate and gather the kick ahead at the end of his run. Parker added the extras, and the game was safe at 38 - 15 on 66 minutes. The home side refused to give up, however, and their tenacity was rewarded with a try from a charged down Mowden clearance nine minutes from time. Mowden were no less tenacious, and they were determined to have the last word in a game they'd had to work hard in to win. They managed this with two more converted tries; first, big lock, Dan Preston-Routledge
refused to be denied and crashed over the final defender, before Asher-Wood again showed the home side a clean pair of heels to bring up the half century. Parker's final conversion of the day was impressive, and if 52 - 20 felt a little harsh on Middlesbrough after their sterling efforts, it was fair reward for the visitors' potent attacking display.