Darts travelled to Hove knowing they needed to come away with a bonus point win
Darts travelled to Hove knowing they needed to come away with a bonus point win against a side who have found things tough so far in London 1. In the last couple of seasons we have had some great encounters with Hove and despite their lowly position we were well aware of the dangers the home side would pose. Hove started well with an early penalty to take the lead 3-0. Darts started to get into their rythmn and when they had a line out inside the opposition 22 a good line out drive saw Kenny Lee go over for a try converted by Mike Briggs. Hove were very competitive and a great break by their full back saw them regain the lead with a well taken try. 10-7. Joe Gills making his first start at fly half made some nice breaks and after about 10 or so phases Darts finally outnumbered Hove out wide and it was full back Kieren Ryan who scored the visitors second try. Mike converted again. After a good and even first half Darts took a 14-10 lead into the break.
Darts brought on Adam Lanning and Dan Nukajam who both made telling contributions to the team. Adam made a couple of great tackles and forced some turnovers as well as being good in the lineout whilst Dan was always reakly strong with ball in hand. The team's scramble defence was excellent as Hove refused to buckle keeping the ball well and eventually this allowed them to score a well constructed try to regain the lead again. 17-14. Skipper Si Briggs was leading from the front as usual and needed to get the team back on the front foot again. A good short lineout saw Alex Vousden to score Darts third try with great support from his fellow forwards and the lead changed hands once again. 17-19. If Darts thought this would knock Hove's confidence they were mistaken as the home side put together 10 minutes of solid play which saw them score their third try to take the lead again. 22-19 . Tom Duggan, Alex Vousden and Adam Lanning made some more telling turnovers which stopped Hove scoring again and the never say die attitude of Darts resulted in some sustained pressure and it was great thinking and spacial awareness by Kenny Lee who placed the ball at the bottom of the post to score the decisive bonus point try. Mike converted. Darts played keep ball for the remaining 4-5 minutes to give a relieved coaching team an extremely important bonus point win. Hove will cause ther teams in the league problems if they can continue to play as they did today and can feel unfortunate only to come away with a bonus point. Our sympathies go to one of Hove's stars who after a lengthy lay off with a broken leg had to leave the field on his comeback with a broken jaw. We wish j=him a speedy recovery.
Skipper Si Briggs was given Man of the Match award for another all round display .
Another important match next weekend at home to Cobham.
Quilter Kids First Champions winner – December: Old Hales RFC