Double cup joy for the old and young of Datchworth

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 April 2018

Datchworth U16s and senior firsts both saw off Hitchin to secure cup final places. Picture: Danny Loo

Datchworth U16s and senior firsts both saw off Hitchin to secure cup final places. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2018

There was double cup success for Datchworth Rugby Club as both the seniors and the juniors tasted victory over Hitchin in semi-finals.

A depleted first team rallied against Hitchin to book their second Herts Presidents’ Tankard final in three years

And the U16 boys made it two cup finals with a 15-7 win over the Hedgehogs.

They had to fight hard as Hitchin piled on the pressure in the last 20 minutes but Datch were able to maintain territory with James Hunter and Dan Calvert spoiling opposition ball to great effect in the loose as they rode out the clock.

The first team had things slightly easier in their 25-8 win and will now be looking turning their attention to Sunday’s final at Saracens’ Allianz Park when they face Hemel Hempstead.

Despite their recent relegation Hitchin proved tough opposition on a sunny afternoon in the village.

However, it was the hosts that took the lead in the opening minute with a fine drive by the pack allowing scrum-half Grant Roe to snipe through the defence to score.

Richard Mills couldn’t add the extras and Hitchin came straight back, winning a penalty under the posts that they duly slotted.

But not to be deterred, Datch hit back with a penalty of their own to regain their five-point lead.

Hitchin piled on the pressure and although Datchworth defended resolutely, resisting wave after wave of attack, they couldn’t keep them out forever and the visitors slipped through to level the scores.

That didn’t stop the onslaught though and after a quick tap-penalty, home flanker Jake Ebhodaghe made a tackle when not ten and saw yellow.

But from the ensuing play, disaster struck for Hitchin when their flanker got his studs caught in the ground in a tackle and suffered a leg break.

Once the game restarted the momentum swung back in Datchworth’s favour and Dylan Rice ran a beautiful line to give them a 15-8 half-time lead, Mills adding the conversion.

A quieter second half followed with Mills’s penalty increase the gap midway through.

A final try followed thanks to Sam McBroom’s bullocking run and Mills added the kick to send Datchworth to the final.

Kick-off on Sunday is at 1.30pm.

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