Datchworth flying high in promotion race once again after bonus-point success
PUBLISHED: 09:02 21 November 2018
©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved
Datchworth got their promotion charge back on track after securing a 27-5 win at Finchley.
Defeat at home to Stevenage Town two weeks earlier had threatened to derail the Men in Green’s rise up the London North West Three table.
But this keeps them hot on the heels of the rest of the promotion pack in fourth, one point behind second-placed Old Streetonians.
A few changes in personnel may have contributed to an unsettled Datchworth conceding the first points, as Finchley went blind from a 10-metre scrum to bag the first try in the corner.
But from there the visitors to Summers Lane started to find their rhythm with both forwards and backs carrying the ball with greater consistency and for more distance.
And the pressure it brought on the Finchley defence finally told, Tom Wood slotting over the resulting penalty.
And moments later Datch grabbed the lead for the first and final time.
Two good carries from Dan Blackwell set a platform and a penalty at the breakdown gave Datchworth a line-out within striking distance.
And from there a few phases of play allowed Sam Brunton to chip the ball into goal for James Watt to touch down.
Wood sent another penalty wide of the posts but made up for that miss with a conversion after James Young had finished off great work from brother Stu.
It gave Datchworth a 10-point lead at half-time but despite a strong start to the second period it took a long time for a deserved third try to come.
James Young took another crash ball through the centre but it was Liam Walker’s powerful run from the second phase that brought the points, Wood converting again for a 22-5 lead.
The remainder of the game became a search for the bonus point score and after a reshuffle in the back line, it arrived inside the final 10 minutes.
Having stolen the ball from Finchley’s grasp, Walker presented Hugo Dawson with a chance and a quick pick and go saw the back row crash over and finish one-handed.
The league faces another blank weekend with Datchworth next in action at home to Old Merchant Taylors’ on December 1.