Dartmouth fight back to win with a late Michael Dei try
Dartmouth RFC v Buckfastleigh Ramblers RFC 25-03-17
Devon Junior Cup 1st Round
Dartmouth RFC 32 - 29 Buckfastleigh Ramblers RFC
Devon 2 Champions Dartmouth welcomed Buckfastleigh to Norton knowing that the previous encounter between the teams at Norton ended in a late converted Dartmouth try which earned them victory by just a single point so they were not taking anything for granted this time.
With a strong wind blowing towards the Stoke Fleming end, Captain John Dingle won the toss and opted to play with the wind advantage for the first half. Both teams settled into the match quickly and were evenly matched until The Ramblers spotted a gap and managed to run through and score with relative ease. With the wind blowing against them the conversion was missed so it stood at 0-5. Dartmouth soon responded with a try from Scrum Half Lorien Spurdel but Luke Chase couldn’t get the angle on the conversion so all level at 5-5. Dartmouth really trying to make the most of the wind advantage tried to run at The Ramblers defence but they stood firm every time until 3 minutes before half time when the ball broke free just past the half way line and Gary Rooney with pace to burn kicked the ball clear, chased and managed to just get the ball down over the line before the dead ball area ran out. Chase missed the conversion leaving Dartmouth with a narrow 10-5 half time lead.
Dartmouth preparing to face the wind decided to act at half time and bought on a couple of their Finishers. Dec Hammond replacing John Dingle at 3 and Karl Caunter replacing Will Lockerbie at 7. Within minutes of the restart Dartmouth went over the try line again with Vice-captain Jason Gibbs scoring and Luke Chase converting to make it 17-5. Any ideas about Dartmouth running away with it was soon squashed however as two quick converted tries from The Ramblers proved they were very much up for this cup match and took the score to 17-19 with 30 minutes to play.
Dartmouth made two further changes with Head Coach Tom Clark replacing Michael Dei and Jack Clark replacing Lorien Spurdel. The next 10 minutes saw both teams kick a penalty a piece to make it 20-22 but it was The Ramblers who again broke away and managed to score another converted try to leave Dartmouth trailing 20-29 with 10 minutes left to play. Alex Parrott then went off with cramp and was replaced by Will Lockerbie.
With a difficult wind and a very tough Ramblers defence against them, Dartmouth threw everything they had in the last 10 minutes and on 75 minutes Tom Clark managed to keep driving all the way over the line to touch the ball down and score to make it 25-29 with Chase just off target with the conversion. Tom Clark then took himself off and bought back on Michael Dei and Jack Stirk was replaced by Alex Parrott for the last few minutes. With Dartmouth now camped on the Buckfastleigh line and constantly pushing forward they were awarded a penalty and as a result The Ramblers were reduced to 14 men when Number 7 received a yellow card. From the resulting tap and go it was Michael Dei who had enough power left to drive over and score for Dartmouth in the last minute. Luke Chase made no mistake from the conversion and the match ended 32-29. Dartmouth man of the match going to Second row Dominic Calvert.
Dartmouth will now face Ilfracombe in the Quarter finals this Saturday 1st April at Norton.