Dragon's Teeth take it to the wire
There was definitely an air of excitement around Old Bath Road as three home sides were taking to the field on a bright and breezy day. Could the Dragon’s Teeth defend their unbeaten position?
Right from the kick-off, the pressure was put on Marlow. The forwards ran hard and strong, whilst the backs controlled things out wide. After an initial false alarm, Sam Longley crashed over from short range to get the scoreboard ticking. Roddy Clark converted, 7-0.
Within a few minutes, the Dragon’s Teeth were back in the Marlow half and keen to capitalise. The forwards, as usual, putting the pressure on up front and giving the backs plenty to play with. Cue Jack Philips to finish off a great move. Converted, 14-0.
Once again, after a fast-paced start, the game settled down and Marlow enjoyed some possession. With some strong running and sloppy defending, Marlow slipped in for a try. Unconverted, 14-5.
Keen to make amends and balance the conceded try, the Dragon’s Teeth kept possession well and before long, were back onto the Marlow line. Once again, the forwards played their part and the backs ran hard. Tom Ansell pulled the strings in the backline and delivered a glorious pass to Sam Longley, who once again crossed the try line form short range. Unconverted, 19-5.
The first half played out with little in the way of action, until Marlow capitalised on some broken play and slipped over the line. Unconverted, 19-10.
HT score 19-10.
After a quick and positive team talk, the second half got underway. The Dragon’s Teeth knew there was a game on and a win would not come easy.
That was proven when Marlow were the first to score. Converted, 19-17.
The second half played out with a very balanced game. Both sides earned possession, carried hard and competed well in the line outs. Unfortunately, the Marlow backs managed to slip a tackle and even with valiant cover efforts, they crossed the try line under the posts. Converted, 19-24.
With moments left on the clock, the Dragon’s Teeth knew exactly what had to be done – a losing bonus point was simply not going to suffice on this day. With a legal restart (luckily), the Dragon’s Teeth won possession in the Marlow half. With a line out close to the Marlow line, the forwards fought hard up front, the backs eager to be released. However, after crashing over from short range, the forwards were held up.
Fear not, penalty advantage was being played. With time allowed for the line out, it was time for it to click again. And it did! With the backs still on their toes (did they really think they’d get the ball???), Ben Barrows was bundled over the line for the last score of the game! Unconverted, 24-24.
Final score, 24-24.
After a game that hadn’t gone completely to plan, from a scoreboard point of view, the Dragon’s Teeth once again showed how strong they come together when the pressure is on. A bonus point draw, still unbeaten and sitting at the top of the table still feels pretty good.
Tries: S. Longley (2), J. Philips, B. Barrows
Cons: R. Clark (2)
Next week, we travel all the way over the road to play Reading IIs, see you there.