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1st XV - Match centre

Market Harborough
Dronfield Rugby Club
Sat 27 Apr 15:00 - League Full time

WE HARBOROUGH NO GRUDGES!

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MARKET HARBOROUGH 18 - 18 DRONFIELD FT AFTER EXTRA TIME 25-21 TO MARKET HARBOROUGH

WE HARBOROUGH NO GRUDGES!
MARKET HARBOROUGH 18 - 18 DRONFIELD FT
AFTER EXTRA TIME 25-21 TO MARKET HARBOROUGH
Watching Monday's episode of Game of Thrones, the battle scenes all looked a bit timid compared to the epic encounter between these 2 teams in the Midlands 2 play off as they vied for the 3rd promotion play off spot to Midlands 1.
Dronfield made changes to the line up from the previous game against Melbourne, with business as usual in the half backs with Jake Steade and Alex Arch restored to scrum half and fly half respectively. In the second row it was the opposite with the lads that had grafted all season either demoted to the bench or not selected at all, as Coaches went for a lighter more mobile pack, with Greg Cooke and Will Backhouse switching from flankers to locks. Sam Selwood and Hugo Ross taking over as flankers. Captain Matt Hale returned at centre with James Marshall switching to the wing.
Dronfield set off well and an early penalty slotted by Joe Farrell settled nerves. 0-3
Dronfield kept the pressure on for the first 10 minutes of the game. Then there was a head injury to number 8 and pack leader Chris Hale and he was forced to retire from the game with Wayne Elloway replacing him and Greg Cooke switching to number 8, not a regular position for him but he would do well today.
Joe Farrell added a second penalty. 0-6
Next big moment in this lively encounter was a red card for the Market Harborough Loose head prop for illegal use of elbow, on around the 20 minute mark.
Going a man down did not seem to affect MH too much and they still had the upperhand in the scrum which Dronfield struggled to lock. With Chris Hale off injured Dronfield's lineout was not functioning with full options either and they struggled to get the usual quick, clean ball to unleash the team moves. Instead the game became an attritional affair as both teams went head to head in one of the most intense games I have seen. Dronfield fronted up well, but the pattern of the game was favouring the bigger MH pack despite the numbers advantage.
The next score came on 34 minutes with a try for the MH fly half after sustained pressure. 5-6
Dronfield hit back just before the break with nice passing leading to a try in the corner by winger James Marshall. 5-13
HALF TIME
MH started the second half well and scored a try on 50 minutes after a missed tackle which was also converted. 12-13
A penalty conceded from a mis-timed jump at the front of the lineout gave MH a kick for the lead which they duly slotted on 60 minutes.15-13
They extended this further four minutes later with another penalty. 18-13
Dronfield did not give up and a Sam Selwood try drew them level to make the score 18-18 at full time.
20 minutes of extra time followed with no let up in the intensity of the game. Dronfield took the lead in the first half with another Joe Farrell penalty. 18-21
In the second half of extra time the MH hooker forced his way over and the lead changed hands once again, 25-21
Dronfield were not finished yet and pressed for a winning try in the final minutes of the game. A yellow card for a MH forward came as Dronfield fought hard. With MH down to 13, Dronfield opted for the 5 metre scrum, but even down to six forwards MH still had the upperhand and saw out the game.
FINAL SCORE 25-21
A brave effort by all 19 of the Dronfield squad who gave everything from start to finish in 100 minutes of intense rugby with the boys giving everything for the cause. Fair play to Market Harborough they did it despite the numerical disadvantage and we thank them for their hospitality and wish them well for next season.
SPW

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