Datchworth eyeing New Year promotion push after they grind out win at Cheshunt
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 December 2018
Datchworth remain in prime position to mount a big promotion charge in the New Year after finishing 2018 with a 16-9 success at Cheshunt.
The Men in Green remain third in London North West Three, just one point behind Old Streetonians in second, after the hard-fought victory in the rain on Cheshunt’s new artificial surface.
The wet weather made ball handling difficult and both teams struggled to put together back-to-back phases of attacking rugby.
Datch had come into the game in fine form, with wins in each of the last three outings, but they found themselves defending for the opening 10 minutes.
However, they calmed things down long enough to gain some ball and a series of penalties marched them up the field.
A further Cheshunt infringement on the edge of the 22 allowed Tom Wood to stroke the ball between the posts for the first points of the game.
They needed a further Wood kick on 25 minutes to regain the advantage after Cheshunt had responded with a score of their own.
Those exchanges proved the point that opportunities for tries would be few and far between so there was natural delight among the green shirts when they crossed the whitewash.
It came from a five-metre scrum, the third in quick succession and while he had been stopped from the first attempt, Stuart Young’s pick and go and dainty pirouette gave Wood acres of space on the blindside to make it 11-3 at half-time.
The weather didn’t get any better in the second half and a bit of kick-tennis took play back and forth before Cheshunt closed the gap with a second successful kick.
They edged even closer with another three but Datchworth were finally able to kill the game thanks to the introduction of maverick full-back Nick Moore from the sidelines.
Given free reign to run at the Cheshunt defence, he set off from a trademark deep position to take Datchworth into dangerous territory.
A series of penalties brought more scrum time for the forwards, the third attempt seeing them held up over the line.
But they kept knocking on the door and finally Liam Walker barrelled over to clinch the win.