London North West Three: Positives outweighs loss for Datchworth skipper as late drama leaves them just short against Tabard

PUBLISHED: 13:29 03 October 2018

James Hankin goes over to score with the last move of the game to give Datchworth a chance of a draw in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

James Hankin goes over to score with the last move of the game to give Datchworth a chance of a draw in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Datchworth came within inches of snatching a draw at home to Tabard but skipper Nick Gudgin was still content with a losing bonus point in the 20-18 defeat.

Tom Wood lines up the final kick to draw Datchworth level on points in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOTom Wood lines up the final kick to draw Datchworth level on points in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Men in Green trailed from as early as the second minute when Jonny Aguila ran a perfect line to bisect the defence and they never got back on terms again.

James Hankin goes over to score with the last move of the game to give Datchworth a chance of a draw in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJames Hankin goes over to score with the last move of the game to give Datchworth a chance of a draw in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

That said they were always in touch and when James Hankin crossed on the final play, it gave Tom Wood a difficult chance from out wide to level the scores.

Tom Blackwell drives for the line in the closing moments of the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOTom Blackwell drives for the line in the closing moments of the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

The kick was off target but the skipper was still looking at the positives,

John Aguila celebrates a score in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJohn Aguila celebrates a score in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Gudgin said: “I’m personally quite happy with the game, we have to take what we can out of a loss. It’s not what we want but I feel like the boys played well.

Mark Salteras recycles the ball to score in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOMark Salteras recycles the ball to score in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

“There were patches where we could have been better but there were a few silly mistakes and we weren’t clinical enough.

Mark Salteras recycles the ball to score in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOMark Salteras recycles the ball to score in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We’re struggling with that final pass but we are working on it and it is coming along.

John Aguila goes for the line in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJohn Aguila goes for the line in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

“It just didn’t happen today.”

Mark Salteras recycles the ball to score in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOMark Salteras recycles the ball to score in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Datchworth had dominated the possession stats in the first half but still turned round 10-6 down, with two Wood penalties all they had to show for their efforts.

Wilf Lake on the ball in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOWilf Lake on the ball in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Alex Nolan got the first of their tries midway through the second half, improved by Wood, but tries from Aaron Priscott and Mark Salteras either side of that kept the Radlett-based side in front.

Jack Reilly breaks forward in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJack Reilly breaks forward in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Crucially Jack Reilly, who had landed a first-half penalty, was unable to convert either and it kept Datchworth in with a shout.

Dan Calnan runs at the defence in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOODan Calnan runs at the defence in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

The late drama raised the hopes of the fans on a beautiful autumnal day but it was not to be.

George Hurford is tackled in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOGeorge Hurford is tackled in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

But the positive Gudgin is still delighted with the way things are going this season.

George Hurford carries forward in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOGeorge Hurford carries forward in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

He said: “We’re still warming up and I’m looking forward to another few games.

Dan Calnan takes a hit in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOODan Calnan takes a hit in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

“Two years ago and even maybe last year we wouldn’t have got that try in the closing stages and I think that’s the difference this year.

Jack Reilly kicks for goal in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJack Reilly kicks for goal in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

“Now we’re getting them. We’re a lot fitter this year and the game with Hemel [in last year’s Herts President’s Trophy] was a real eye-opener for everyone.

Dan Calnan looks to break the Datchworth line in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOODan Calnan looks to break the Datchworth line in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

“You’ve got to try to be the best. If you don’t aim up, you’ll end up going down.”

Jack Reilly kicks for goal in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJack Reilly kicks for goal in the match between Datchworth and Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Datchworth are now sixth in London North West Three with a trip to Harrow on Saturday.

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