Awesome Al’s out with a bang

Datchworth 39 Haringey 3 Datchworth emphatically showed the opposition and watching vice-presidents and guests why they deserve to retain their new-found status in London Three North West. A confident display led to six tries and organised defence meant t

Datchworth 39 Haringey 3

Datchworth emphatically showed the opposition and watching vice-presidents and guests why they deserve to retain their new-found status in London Three North West.

A confident display led to six tries and organised defence meant the home side's line was never breached.

It was a fitting send-off to full-back Alun Thomas who has made a significant contribution to the three promotions that have been gained over the past five seasons.

This included losing his spleen in a horrendous tackle at Hitchin last season, only to recover and fracture his cheekbone against Stevenage Town in September.

Head coach Mark Pittaccio said: "Alun's commitment and courage has been outstanding and he has been a real inspiration to the younger players.

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"Although we would like to, for some reason we cannot talk him out of the highly paid, tax-free and relocation assisted job that he has been offered in Bermuda!"

Two of those younger players were in fine form - scrum-half Matt Hankin and fly-half Tom Nesbitt - and their distribution allowed their more senior colleagues to constantly keep Haringey guessing.

After a penalty apiece with Richie Howells on target, Hankin was the first to cross the try line.

A second try came as captain Jamie Sinclair, in support as ever, finished a fine passage of quick handling. Unfortunately a late tackle left him hospitalised with a suspected broken nose. The Haringey player received a yellow card.

The score stood at 13-3 at the break and Datchworth were soon back on the attack.

Rob Botterman and 20-year-old Henry Mountain were the next to score, Howells converting both.

Hankin robbed the Haringey number eight for the fifth try, Howells adding the extras.

Winger Ian Reid outpaced the last defender for the final score.

With the seconds reaching their league final with a 15-5 win over Old Albanians and the thirds and fourths securing third and fourth places in their leagues respectively, Pittaccio believes Datchworth are moving forwards.

Pittaccio said: "It is vitally important that all the teams progress.

"You don't have to look far to see clubs that have been built on the success of one set of players with structures that have not allowed younger players to progress.

"Those clubs and those who are based on temporary money will always risk a few good seasons and a spiral downwards.

"Hopefully we will be able to sustain this level because everyone has an opportunity to pull on a first team shirt and because we are all involved at the club because we want to be."

And a tour to Bermuda is already in the planning stage!

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