Datch’s the way to do it by the visitors

Vauxhall Motors 5 Datchworth 10 Those who braved the wet conditions to watch this encounter were rewarded as the villagers gave a performance of guts and determination that left the promotion-chasing home side stunned. It also stopped the rot after six co

Vauxhall Motors 5 Datchworth 10

Those who braved the wet conditions to watch this encounter were rewarded as the villagers gave a performance of guts and determination that left the promotion-chasing home side stunned.

It also stopped the rot after six consecutive defeats.

The visitors opened the stronger and Richie Howells took one of two penalty opportunities to take an early lead before their own indiscipline allowed Vauxhall to command some field position.


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A quick tap penalty then launched a decisive attack. Datchworth's midfield defence was breached and the home side took the lead with an unconverted try.

Within minutes, Datchworth were back on the offensive.

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Fly-half Tim Day was intelligently releasing his back three with short kicks to the flanks.

Howells and full-back Alun Thomas were also keeping the defence turning by chipping onto the sticky surface.

Some fine handling gave Thomas the opportunity to chase his own kick. With the line at his mercy, he was impeded without the ball in hand and a penalty try was awarded. Howells converted.

Datchworth turned around 10-5 ahead prior to a dramatic second period played almost totally in their half.

As if defending a 40-minute onslaught was not enough, they added further pressure by squandering opportunities to clear their lines.

Two 22m drop-outs were rushed and charged down and penalties missed touch allowing the home side to counter attack.

A series of offside decisions eventually led to second row Paul Broadwood being sent to the bin leaving a lighter pack to scrummage in the mud.

They held firm with front row Allan Leggetter, Rob Botterman and Brian Hickey using all their technical experience to prevent a pushover.

Vauxhall launched wave after wave of attacks but every Datchworth player was committed to the tackle and determined to protect their line.

The penalties were kicked to touch where Jamie Sinclair and the returning Matt Francis stole and spoiled ball.

Any attempt to kick through was expertly fielded by Thomas and hooker Botterman and Datchworth man of the match Antony Stone reclaimed anything that went loose.

Vauxhall could not break through and their best attempt to outflank was spectacularly thwarted by a diving Thomas who hit the winger in mid-air as he was diving to score.

The green wall held firm and the final whistle brought relief and delight to the exhausted mud-soaked Datchworth men.

Head coach Mark Pittaccio said: "I think we can be very proud of ourselves.

"We have learned a lot since our promotion to this league and we combined that with pure desire.

"Everyone on the team gave everything and we secured two vital points towards the retention of our league status."

Datchworth are away at Enfield Ignatians this Saturday.

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