Darts extend their undefeated run
Another tough encounter
Another tough encounter was expected by Darts when entertaining third place Haywards Heath. Darts had some early pressure and were stopped short of the line and Jonny took the 3 points when the visitors infringed. 3-0. The visitors then started to get into their rythmn and were putting pressure on inside the Darts 22 but determined tackling forced them into to touch. Th ball went loose at the lineout and it was Ollie Edwards
who picked up the ball and weaved powerfully 70metres and despite getting tackled great support from Liam Brencher
saw him go over for the Darts first try. 8-0. Haywards Heath were making good use of the wind and slope and going through the phases well and this effort was rewarded with a well taken try under the posts. 8-7. The game was pretty nip and tuck with Darts looking solid and the visitors defence very strong. The visitors were conceding a large number of penalties which was disrupting Darts style of play and eventually the referee issued a yellow card. Darts took the penalty going for touch and from the resulting lineout set up a driving maul and it was Ryan Chandler
who scored the try. 13-7 A penalty for the visitors closed the gap and at half time it was all to play for at 13-10.
It was all to play for in the second half and with the wind and slope the home side should have felt comfortable but it was the visitors who opened the scoring with a penalty. 13-13. Darts hadn't really played to best with play having little continuity but as soon as they did put together some great phase play it resulted in a try for Ollie Edwards
. 18-13. Darts have scored tries in quick succession this season and this was the case again when powerful play saw Smiler go over over for his second try of the game. 23-13. Darts were solid and well organised which didn't allow the visitors to make much headway and forced them to move laterally. Despite their smaller stature Darts are fantastic in the tackle and double hit the bigger players really well eventually forcing mistakes which they take advantage of. Whilst having a decent amount of possession this pressure forced a panicky clearing kick which went straight into the arms of Liam Brencher
who showed his pace when having drawn his opposite number towards him kicked over and won the chase to score his second try which was converted by Mike Briggs
. 30-13. This was game over but Haywards Heath showed why they have been so successful this season by putting everything into the last couple of minutes and this resulted in them going over for a try under the posts which they converted. 30-20. Straight from the restart they went on a last ditch attack and forced a penalty which they kicked to ensure they went home with a losing bonus point. Final score 30-23.
A good win for Darts to continue their successful season against a well organised and strong side and despite not being at their absolute best found a way to earn a bonus point win. Some good individual performances but Head Coach Bob Hussey awarded Player of the Match to Michael Young
for his great work at prop and around the park with some impressive driving runs.