Coventry Dragons defeat the Demons
10 wins from 10 in 2017
Coventry Dragons welcomed Northampton Demons to Cov Tech for their first ever sponsors day and a top of the table clash. A good crowd was present and were rewarded with an entertaining game that was a credit to both sets of players especially considering the scorching conditions the game was played in.
Northampton got off to the mark early in the game as the Dragons initially struggled to handle the Demons pace at the ruck. After a series of quick plays they attacked the right edge and broke through to go 6 - 0 up in the opening minutes.
Coventry were then reduced to 12 men for dissent which saw Northampton take full advantage by keeping The Dragons on the back foot for the majority of this period. The Demons ran in two further trys taking the score to 16 - 0 and it looked like it could be a long afternoon for Coventry.
This feeling was intensified as further quick play the balls from Northampton enabled their hooker to spot a gap in the Dragons defence to take the score to 22 - 0. In most games this would be an impossible lead to chase however once the Dragons were back to a full compliment of players they finally began to get a grip of the game. Some strong running in the middle of the park from Dale Bowyer and George Carlton enabled the Dragons to gain some good field position which eventually saw Prop James Howitt crash over the try line to register Coventry's first points of the afternoon. Scott Clenddining-Fenton converted and on the 30 minute mark the score was now 22 - 6.
Coventry then knocked on from the kick off which allowed Northampton to increase the margin back to 22 points as they scored of the resultant set. The Dragons finished the scoring of the half when they were rewarded with a scrum on the half way line with a minute remaining. A kick on first tackle by Scott Clendenning-Fenton was perfectly measured which allowed Tobias Rochester-Bremmer to race through to touch down under the sticks.
Half time score Northampton 26 - 12 Coventry.
Coventry picked up where they left off in the second half and scored 10 further points thanks to the strong running of Craig McGrory and a left to right shift that was neatly finished off by Clive Jackson and suddenly the Northampton lead was reduced to 4 points.
A ball steal from the kick off of Jacksons try was questionably given as a knock on allowing the Demons to pack down 10m from The Dragons try line. A wide play of the base of the scrum saw Northampton touch down and the score was now 30 - 22.
It was at this point in the game when Coventry seemed to finally wake up and showed the defences efforts that had seen them win the previous 9 games. Some good team defence forced Northampton into touch allowing Coventry to have good field position and a further right to left shift this time saw Sam Brown crash over the try line. John Michael Davis converted to bring the Dragons within 2 points.
Coventry had struggled with injuries all afternoon and no fewer than 6 players had to be taken off the field injured and they were forced to bring on Harry Kaufman who is recovering from a knee injury. Following a goal line drop out hooker George Carlton spotted a gap in the defence to immediately feed the ball to Kaufman allowing him to run through to touch down in the corner. This time Mark Hyslop converted taking the score to 34 - 30. Northampton pushed hard in the closing minutes to take the lead but after a series of knocks it proved to be Coventry that had one last try in them. In the final moments Dale Bowyer dived on a grubber kick from Scott Clendenning Fenton to seal the win that takes the Dragons 6 points clear at the top of the table.
A huge congratulation must go out to both sets of players for there efforts in the heat as once again the Dragons and Demons played another very entertaining game. Many thanks goes out to all the supporters and sponsors that attended the game and made the afternoon a great success.
Coventry Dragons 38 - 30 Northampton Demons
Old J Spiced Rum MOM - Sam Brown