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Barnard Castle 15 Acklam 24

By Paul I'Anson

Acklam' s late show earns them a dramatic win

It was a case of alls well that ends well for Acklam yesterday as a late show got them a 24-15 win at Barnard Castle after they had blown a 12 point lead to fall behind in the second half.
In a scrappy opening to the game Acklam made several chances but were let down by poor handling. The home side 's kicking game was quite effective, repeatedly pinning Acklam back in their own half. Acklam survived a scare when Barney's tricky stand off dummied his way through only to lose the ball over the visitors ' line, resulting in a 22 drop out.
Acklam eventually broke the deadlock when they strung a few good phases of play together. Veteran second row Tim Savage, captain for the day on his final first team appearance, made a good break and when the ball was recycled his fellow lock Danny Moss crashed over to score. The conversion was missed but Acklam had a 5 nil lead after half an hour.
Then a few minutes later a good run by centre Ricky Scott was finished off by stand off Marcus Sudron who went through a couple of tackles to go over near the posts. He added the conversion himself to put Acklam 12 points up.
However, they immediately let the home side back into the game. After they were carelessly offside at the restart Barney kicked the penalty to the corner and although Acklam resisted the initial line out drive the home team forced their way over at the second attempt and a good conversion narrowed the game up, 7-12 at the break.
In the second half Barney's stand off continued to use his kicking game to good effect, pushing Acklam back in their own half. The visitors ' discipline let them down again - Barney were going to be penalised for foul play but the penalty was reversed for retaliation and back row Paddy O'Brien was shown a yellow card.
The home team soon took advantage, firstly scoring a try to level the scores, then went back down the field for their stand off to slot over a neat drop goal to give them a 15-12 lead.
Acklam went into the last 10 minutes staring a disappointing defeat in the face. However, they kept going, breaking away to force a 5 metre scrum. Although they were initially held up they then went blind and Sudron jinked past two defenders to score and although he missed the conversion Acklam were back in front.
The drama continued as replacement back row Cameron Bottomley fielded the restart to set up another attack and Brad Gater made a great run, stepping inside the last defender then outstripping the cover defence to score a lovely try. This time Sudron added the extras and in a topsy-turvy game Acklam were now 24-15 ahead. There was still time for the home stand off to attempt another drop goal, but at the final whistle Acklam 's great finish had earned them a bonus point 24-15 win which had looked unlikely 10 minutes earlier.
Acklam have finished with a respectable 52 points and they can look to build on this next season.

Updated 12:38 - 9 May 2019 by Mark Collins

Where next?

Rugby Activities at Acklam Weekend 27th / 28th April 2019 Acklam travel to Barnard Castle for their final league game of the season which had been postponed three times due to bad weather.

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