Photos via John White Media/Dings Crusaders
National Two South
Dings 24-17 Leicester Lions
Dings has won four in a row, with a three-for-two win over the Leicester Lions at Shaftesbury Park. The home side looked to be in control for most of the game and really stepped up their defensive efforts, but credit goes to the visitors who were still in the game and had the last laugh when outstanding full-back Alex Wilcockson plunged to the 80th. minute.
Dings’ 19-year-old back-up scrum-half Archie Stapleton was thrown into the deep end on his league debut after ninth starter Tom Knight was helped off the field after receiving a blow to the head at seven minutes. Stapleton, however, pulled it off with flying colors and won the player of the match award.
Dings opened the scoring after five minutes when fly-half Tom Price completed a smooth move to point under the posts and then added the extras. The Lions fought back with a Ben Young penalty before Crusaders No.8 Chris Rovery stole the ball on the break down and then attacked some would-be tacklers to score. Price converted again on 21 minutes.
Lions tight-head prop Isaac Thompson hit a great line for a try, and Young converted to close the gap, but Price overturned a penalty to make it 17-10 against Dings at the turnaround. Dings struck first in the second half with center Luke Arscott for Dings’ 100th try of the season – Price converted. But despite having had the lion’s share of possession for the remainder of the contest, the Crusaders were unable to add to their scorecard.
Dings scores: Price 5, Rovery 21, Arscott 49. Conversions: Price 6, 22, 50. Penalty: Price 28.
Leicester Lions scorers: Thompson 26, Wilcockson 80. Conversions: Youth 27, 80. Penalty: Youth 10.
Half time: 17-10, Dings
Crusaders Dings: 15 Tovey; 14 Hargan, 13 Smith, 12 Arscott, 11 Foot, 10 Price, 9 Knight; 1 Turner, 2 Anderson, 3 English, 4 Bilton, 5 Hodge, 6 Welling, 7 Beer, 8 Rovery. Replacements: 16 Gollop, 17 Appleton, 18 Slade, 19 Stapleton, 20 Millner.
Leicester Lions: Wilcockson; 14 Helliwell, 13 Sterland, 12 Bean, 11 Constant, 10 Young, 9 Stubbs; 1 Roberts, 2 Harris, 3 Thompson, 4 Hutchinson, 5 Ward, 6 Johnson, 7 Murdoch, 8 Godefroy. Replacements: 16 Murray, 17 McNaughton, 18 Rudkin, 19 Brock, 20 Ogden.
Referee: Lloyd Davies
Clifton leaves him late in Guernsey
National Two South
Guernsey 24-26 Clifton
Tomas Gwilliam came off the bench for Clifton as they scored an 87th-minute penalty try after 15 minutes of a reset scrum, three yellows and a red card for the visitors at Footes Lane.
Guernsey started with the wind and started strong with winger Anthony Armstrong crashing out in the opening 10 minutes. Clifton fought back, however, when a Fin Sharp break allowed Mitch Spencer to fire a tap and go, with Cozens missing the conversion.
Clifton dominated the exchanges for most of the half as Guernsey struggled to play with the wind, and it wasn’t until just before half-time that they struck, with Charlie Davis crossing after a break of former Clifton man Callum Roberts.
After half-time, Clifton looked to make better use of the wind than their hosts and duly secured the lead when Henry Harper crossed after further sustained pressure from Clifton’s peloton. From kick-off, the Raiders came back and Ethan Smith crossed almost immediately from kick-off, before a few minutes later Guernsey extended their advantage thanks to a poor tackle from Clifton to score in the corner and lead 24-12.
What followed was sustained pressure from Clifton, with the visitors clearly dominating the exchange forward. Jack Bartlett crossed and Cozens converted to make it 24-19 before Clifton showed his strength and good discipline to camp on the Raiders line for the final 15 minutes. Dom Rice was shown a red card before Sam Steverton, James Burger and Darrin Bellingham all received yellow cards before the referee finally awarded Clifton an almost unavoidable penalty try, which sealed the victory and the bonus point for the visitors to keep the pressure on Redruth. , Esher & Worthing in the race for the title.
Hartpury falls to defeat at Richmond
Richmond 20-12 Hartpury
Mitch Eadie and James Dun were in action for Hartpury as they slid to defeat at Richmond on Saturday.
Richmond quickly took the lead with a Anawanyu tries, before McNab fights back for Hartpury.
Returning scrum-half JB Bruzulier then surged ahead to edge past the visitors, but two second-half scores from Richmond saw them take the spoils in west London.
Duncan impresses in Weston loss
Southwest Premier Tribute
Old Redcliffians 39-19 Weston-super-Mare
For the second weekend in a row, Weston-super-Mare faced one of the Tribute South West Premier’s top title chasers, and as in the first game the result was the same, but on this occasion the score was a little closer.
The Seasiders had made the short trip to Scotland Lane in Brislington knowing that their hosts, third in the table and just two points off pole position, were unbeaten on their home turf this season.
If you looked at the final score, you might think it was a very comfortable win for the Bristol-based side, but in reality, had Weston taken more of their many chances, the deficit could have been much closer.
There is no doubt that the Old Reds deserved to win as they were very clinical when sniffing the score. On the other hand, despite two successful tries by left winger Joe Burgess and one by No 8 Macenzzie Duncan, as well as two conversions from James Mackay, Weston made so many simple errors in the red zone that he was normal as the last play again with the visitors on offense the final score was a sixty yard interception.
The positives were that Weston never gave up and had most of the possession. The negatives were again too many silly penalties and also their inability most of the time to make the right decisions under pressure.
There’s still a really good team out there, and when they click, they’re on par with anyone in this division. However, they need to learn to weed out the nonsense and focus a little more on the right thing to do when on offense.
Victory sees Old Redcliffians widen the gap to fourth-placed Weston-super-Mare to 24 points, but the Seasiders have a six-point cushion on fifth-placed Exmouth, who are the next opponents on March 26, 2022.