It's a long way... to Witney
The DT's took the long hike to Witney looking to improve on their defeat at the hands of Reading the previous week.
With a few changes to personnel but the squad still looking strong, the mood was high and the DT's had strong hopes of reverting back to winning ways against a Witney side that was several places below them in the league table.
From the kick-off, it was obvious that Witney's league position was not a fair reflection on the side they are. Opening the scoring on 10 minutes, with strong, hard-running forward play and fluid and decisive running through the backs. 5 - 0.
Witney struck again after one defensive miscommunication, quickly followed by another. Witney took the score to 19 - 0, with 2 converted tries.
Finally able to put some phases together, the DT's ventured into the Witney 3rd, putting together some stronger phases and tighter running lines. However, a handling error and a backline that defensively did not come to the party, Winey struck from deep within their own half to score again under the posts with the conversion taking it to 26 - 0.
The DT's managed to hold the score until halftime when some much-needed soul-searching was required. The first half performance being as far from what they have delivered this season as possible.
The second half started on a happier note, with Tom Ansell feeding Sam Longley to go over in the corner, after a passage of good short play for the forwards, reverting back to what the do best. A fine touchline conversion from Roddy Clark made the score 26 - 7, still in touch but 'Ensians had to score next.
However, it wasn't to be. A ponderous defence, again, allowed Witney to barrel through, the converted score making it 33 - 7.
Again the DT's fought back, Richard Inns finishing powerfully after a penalty was awarded 15 yards out, conversion missed this time. 33 - 12.
With 10 minutes to go, Witney scored again out wide, with their industrious scrum half now playing in the centre, beating several sprawling defenders and running over the DT's fullback. 38 - 12.
Remembering where we are and what we are doing 'Ensians again managed to battle their way back to the business end of the field. Inns again, finding himself in the right place at the right time after some tidy forward work and short passes. Conversion missed by Clark with underfoot conditions very difficult. 38 - 17.
With only a few minutes left on the clock, the game still had 15 points on offer, it was Witney that capitalised, scoring 2 long-range tries on the bounce, both going unconverted but stretching the score to 48 - 17. A long day at the office for a very out-of-sorts DT's was finished off with one last effort, 'Ensians managing to scramble over again, taking the final score to 48 - 22.
A truly disappointing day after what had been a very promising start to the season. The Dragon’s Teeth looked really out of sorts and were a long way from delivering their best. Having said that, Witney played very well 1 through 15 and if they continue their form, they will not be at the bottom end of the table for long.
Tries: Longley, Inns (2), AN Other
Match report by Tom Ansell