OPM RFC 15 Dartmouth RFC 24
Injury hit Dartmouth convincingly beat OPM with 13 players and take bonus points
Injury hit Dartmouth, were only able to field a bare 15 players in their away encounter last Saturday against Old Plymouthian & Mannamedian RFC at King George Playing fields.
The away side had to make 5 positional changes prior to kick off and ended the game with only 13 players, but Dartmouth played the game of the season and came away worthy 24-15 winners.
Prior to this game, Dartmouth had won 2 league games and OPM had won 3 .
Dartmouth needed this win to climb the Devon Division one league table.
Dartmouth kicked off into the sun with a very strong gusting wind behind them. They should have taken the lead after 5 minutes, but a Matt Hawkins penalty was off target.
The front row of veteran Nick Shillabeer, Captain John Dingle and Tom Clark were up for the game and led by example. They caused havoc whenever they had the ball with bulldozing runs and stealing any loose balls in the lineout.
Winger /Centre Sam Pearson was bought into attack whenever possible and he made some thundering runs up field. There is no doubt that Sam will go a long way in the world of Rugby once he has gained experience to go with his strength and speed.
On 13 minutes, Dartmouth forwards started a rolling maul on the OPM 22 mtr line, which resulted in veteran number 8 Stuart Massey and prop Shillabeer getting closer and closer to the line and it was Massey who claimed the try on the line.
Conversion by Luke Chase. 7-0 Dartmouth.
The Dartmouth forwards were gaining the upper hand over their opponents with some good turn overs. Any loose opposition ball was quickly pounced on by Tom Clark.
On 27 minutes, it was Tom Clark who gathered one of those loose balls from the ground and he waltzed through the defence from 22 mtrs to score wide out.
Dartmouth then lost no 8 Stuart Massey with a groin injury leaving the team with 14 players.
OPM Stepped up a gear and for the first time managed to get into Dartmouth 22. From a line out, quick ball was released to centre Harry Kandam Pulley who broke through to score.
Dartmouth came straight back at OPM with Karl Caunter and John Dingle in the thick of things making penetrating runs which broke the opponents game line. It was a run by Caunter and DIngle down the touchline who used their upper body strength to brush away tacklers and resulted in Captain DIngle stretching over the line to score.
17-5 Half time.
At the start of the second half Dartmouth lost winger Matt Hawkins. After being clear of the opposition he pulled up with a ham string injury and had to leave the field, leaving Dartmouth with 13 players.
OPM at this stage must have thought that the game was theirs for the taking. However, Dartmouth dug deep and showed great grit and determination . They realised that this was not a kicking game, so they kept the ball in the forwards and sucked the opposition players in before releasing quick ball. Dartmouth were even prepared to run the ball from their own line, as they realised that if they gave away possession, this could lead to a two man over lap for OPM.
in the first 20 minutes of the second half Dartmouth did give away a penalty which was kicked by number 9 Sammy Matt's.
The visitors were eyeing up another try and it almost came off when Sam Pearson made a 50 mtr run up field before being brought down.
Utility full back Will Lockerbie didn't flinch under high balls on his line and was prepared to run the ball at OPM from all over the field.
It was only a matter of time before the bonus points came. Prop Tom Clark made one of his solo runs up field and passed to winger Xavier Picot who gained ground before passing back to Clark. The ball went loose, but Clark showed his footballing skills and calmness as he dribbled the ball over the line before pouncing on the ball for a well deserved 2nd try.
Conversion Luke Chase.
With only 13 players, Dartmouth started to tire in the last 10 minutes of the game and it was Dartmouth's defence, especially Jack(Flash) Gordon who put in some thumping tackles to stop certain tries.
However, late pressure from OPM saw number 9 Sammy Matt's nipping in for a late try, which he converted.
Final score 24-15 Dartmouth.
Dartmouth Team Manager Andrew Tomkinson said after the game,
"I was delighted with the result at OPM today, every single one of our players put in a massive shift and to get a bonus point when we played for 30 minutes with only 13 men just showed how good our defence was. The windy conditions didn't help either team today, but I thought we were very vocal on the pitch and stuck to our plan. This is probably our best performance of the season so far. A great team effort. We wish our injured players a speedy recovery."
Dartmouth RFC team
John Dingle(captain) Nick Shillabeer, Tom Clark, Alex Hassard, Ryan Burrows, Adam Sharam, Karl Caunter, Stuart Massey, Josh Bruckner, Luke Chase, Matt Hawkins, Sam Pearson, Jack Gordon, Xavier Picot, William Lockerbie.
Dick Evans, Dartmouth Rugby Football Club
07847 141 240