Without a competitive match since November and showing signs of over indulgence at Christmas, Dover U16’s slid to a 27 – 3 defeat against a well organised and effective Aylesford team.
Playing up the slope first Dover were soon under pressure and conceded an early try, however their response was good and they had two chances to level the score when first Kieran Ryder
and then Joe Dennis
looked to have broken clear, but on both occasions last ditch tap tackles were made by Aylesford. Although Aylesford had a powerful pack who were able to pick and go effectively, Dover were grateful they opted for more kick and chase ball, which the Dover full back, Jordan Jackson
dealt with comfortably. However, some sloppy passing and poor decision making by Dover kept handing the advantage back to Aylesford and they made Dover pay by scoring two further tries before half time.
Dover have been in this situation before and when they turned around with the slope now in their favour, they looked to reduce the deficit by pinning Aylesford into their own half. This they did successfully for long periods, but with the Dover lineout not performing at its best today, Aylesford were able to soak up the pressure well. Eventually Dover took a long range penalty kick option which was sweetly struck by fly half Harry Moore
, and Dover finally had some points on the board.
With Dover hoping to add to this score, Aylesford responded with their best 10 minute spell of the match and some rather weak Dover tackles let Aylesford regain the upper hand, which, compounded with some disorganised Dover defence, allowed Aylesford to score a further two tries at the end.
Although a disappointing result, Dover really needed this match today to blow away some of the cobwebs gained by their recent inaction. They will now need to quickly re-establish some form as they have a full upcoming fixture list.
On a positive note it was good to see the return of Jordan Annakie
and Joe Dennis
from injury, who will both add backbone to the team when fully match fit, and as usual, the work rate from both flankers George Smith
and Matt Ribbans
, together with a fired up Joe Cooper
and Angus Killen was good to see.
Team: Aarron Coleman
, Angus Killen, Matt Sanders
, robin jenkins
, George Pugh
, Keiran Phillips, Matt Ribbens, George Smith
, Joe Cooper
, Jason Mallory
, Harry Moore
, Jordan Annakie
, Joe Dennis
, Keiran Ryder, Jack Muir, Fraser Shields
, Tyler Walledge
, Jordan Jackson