This years Herts Presidents Tankard Final saw Datchworth 1st XV take on Fullerians 1st XV. The game was hosted by Fullerians, a pre determined venue, with over 200 supporters turning out to support their teams.
Datchworths build up to the game hadn't gone to plan after a defeat to Welwyn the previous week; however when game day came around all 15 players were ready to go out and win the final. Unfortunately a capitulation of handling errors meant Datchworth couldn't finish off their chances and a dominant Fullerians side took the win.
The first half of the game was an edgy affair with neither team enforcing themselves on the other. Fullerians dominant scrum were keeping Datchworth on the back foot but the visitor's effort around the park was keeping them in the game. Datchworth twice entered their opponents 22 and had clear opportunities to take the lead and score the first try of the game but twice ended up knocking the ball on and handing the advantage back to Fullers.
The first half ended with Fullerians enforcing pressure on Datchworth and working their way into their 22. Some outstanding defence from Datchworth forwards Rob Lindsey and Mark Holgate kept the home side out but eventually the pressure told and the referee awarded a penalty in front of the post which the Fullerians 10 duly converted.
At half time Datchworth felt the game was still in their hands, despite the dominance the Fullerians front row were having in the scrum, however, in the second half that dominance started to pay off for Fullerians. With their pack going forward, Fullerians were able put the Datchworth defence under increasing amount of pressure leading to their winger breaking up the right hand side. A well worked move back across the park saw the Fullerian centre crash over for the first try of the game.
Datchworth kept themselves in the game and looked like they might have what it took to fight their way back into the game. However handling errors meant all their pressure led to nothing more than 3 points from the boot of Tom Wood. Fullerians sealed the victory with another score near the end of the game to make the final score 15-3.
Despite the loss Datchworth can take a lot of positives from the game, they played well and were unfortunately beaten by the better team on the day.
Datch now play Finchley and Harrow in their last 2 games of the season. Winning both games will see them finish as the top Herts team in the league.
Written by Tom Wood