Barely anything between Datchworth and London Welsh as promoted pair serve up end of season cracker
PUBLISHED: 13:31 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:31 09 April 2019
The history books will show there was a 13-point gap in the league between London Welsh and Datchworth at the end of the campaign.
The final game of the London Three North West season, one in which both teams earned promotion, was a lot closer though, with the exiles claiming a narrow 10-7 success.
The truth of the matter was there was precious little between the two clubs as an enthralling contest was played out in front of almost 1,000 supporters.
Champions Welsh had got the better of Datch on the opening day of the season with a 27-7 success but the Men in Green have got better and better as the year has unfolded.
An early kick at goal from the visitors to Old Deer Park slid wide of the uprights and with both defences proving difficult to break down, it was perhaps no surprise that only one try was scored before half-time.
That went to Welsh with great hands down the line and a final pass from Tom May putting Max Morgan into the corner.
The second half started in the same style and it was soon after the restart that Datchworth got what turned out to be their only score.
Huge carries from Tom Wood and skipper Nick Gudgin took play into the Welsh half and after the ball had passed through the hands of John Simons, Mark Holgate crashed through to score.
Sam Brunton’s conversion pushed the villagers into the lead but the advantage didn’t last long and David Gabe completed the move to make it 10-7.
Datchworth could have drawn level but Gudgin spurned a kickable penalty as he opted for a kick to the corner and the power of the Greens’ line-out.
That wasn’t straight though and another attack was eventually held up after a number of phases.
It allowed Welsh to hold out but with the two sides set to meet again next season, the contest has only whetted the appetite for what is to follow.