Datchworth claim second London 2NW scalp to reach Herts Presidents’ Tankard final
PUBLISHED: 16:48 08 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:48 08 April 2016
Datchworth are through to the Herts Presidents’ Tankard final after taking their second London 2NW scalp in as many rounds on Wednesday evening.
Having beaten Harpenden in the last eight, the Men in Green went into their semi-final as huge underdogs against Fullerians, currently top of the division.
They were certainly not over-awed though and managed a terrific 18-13 win over Fullers at Harrow RFC on Wednesday night.
Datch came out flying and soon took the lead.
Playing into the wind, Datch took the game to Fullers and defended with intensity.
Deep into the Fullerians’ half, Datchworth charged down a kick. Centre Alex Nolan rushed through onto the ball, only for it to edge past the deadball line so he couldn’t get the score.
From the ensuing 22 drop-out, Datchworth marched straight back into the Fullerians half, barraging the opposition defence and were soon on their line again.
At the back of a ruck, flanker Marcus Potter sniffed a gap and dived over with fly half and captain Tom Wood handsomely adding the extras.
Continuing the pressure, Datchworth had a second try disallowed and then won a penalty in front of the posts for continual infringements at the breakdown. Wood slotted to give Datchworth a 10-point lead.
This seemed to ignite Fullerians and they started to generate some impressive rugby.
Dominating at the scrum, the London 2NW side marched upfield and found themselves within 15 metres of Datchworth’s line.
A fine backs move saw space out wide for their winger to crash over and get themselves back in the game.
Just before half-time, Fullerians had a penalty and kicked for the corner.
An impressive line-out drive saw them score their second try of the half and go in after 40 minutes 12-10 up.
The lead changed hands for a third and final time moments after half-time.
Datchworth got straight into Fullerians half and set Wood up for a drop goal which was slotted away impressively.
After a number of substitutions from both sides, the game lost momentum with neither team able to finish a number of attacks.
Then, with 20 minutes to go, Datchworth scored their second try.
John Simons, a revelation at second row this year, broke through and demonstrated lightning pace to run in from 50 metres out evading four tackles, Wood couldn’t add the extras.
There was still time for several penalty attempts from Datchworth, though again they could not be converted.
With time running out and Datchworth under pressure, they lost a man though Fullerians couldn’t make the most of the advantage and Ian Reid’s men ran out unexpected winners.
The final will be played at Allianz Park on Saturday, April 30 against local rivals Stevenage, who themselves had an impressive result, beating Welwyn 41-37 in the second semi-final back in November.
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