Dronfield 2 XV slog through the mud for another victory
Mud is a great leveller...
On Saturday 3 February 2018 Dronfield 2nd XV hosted the unbeaten Melbourne 2nd team in a closely fought game between two teams fighting at the top of the league table.
Muddy conditions and broken play meant neither side was particularly able to gain any great momentum. Dronfield tried to use their main carriers to gain a decent field position but with handling errors and a disruptive opposition, nothing came of the chances that infrequently appeared.
Despite their efforts, Melbourne didn’t look like scoring either. Each attack, although making several line breaks, was halted by Dronfield's excellent cover tackling (Everard in particular) and stalwart defence. Nevertheless Melbourne capitalised on some unfortunate and at times naïve Dronfield decisions by slotting three penalty kicks in the first half.
The second half began, much as the first but with the difference that Dronfield were completing a larger number of phases and proving to themselves that patience allows greater opportunities. Several times, charging runs came close to the try line but only when Josh Hawley was given time to build up some steam were Dronfield given the try they so desperately needed. Hawley stormed through several tacklers and Moroney converted to close the gap.
From then on the lead changed hands continuously with penalties being scored from both sides’ kickers. The wet conditions allowed each team to exploit their opponents when mistakes were made under pressure. Moroney won the penalty contest by slotting the final penalty to give Dronfield the lead, and victory, with two minutes to go. The final score was 16-15. Another great win!
Other notable incidents came from Captain Pete Walker and Ben Ironmonger. Both received ten minute rests, after a minor old fashioned (heavy footed) rooking incident from Walker in the first half, and advice to the referee which was [surprisingly] not welcomed by the ref regarding the Melbourne hooker's bent arrows...[it definitely wasn't straight, but Captain Walker had already dumped the receiving prop into touch in any event, so the advice wasn't needed - Doh!]. Fortunately both made up for their heinous actions (both having received yellows in last week's win against Ashbourne too!) with solid tackling, scrummaging and carrying throughout.
A tough task completed against a talented opposition, and the Dronfield 2nd XV march on. Next week is away against Paviors on Saturday 10th February, which promises to be a somewhat tougher physical challenge.