Defiant Datch are on the up in league

PUBLISHED: 11:48 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

Datchworth moved into the top half of the table with a display reminiscent of their promotion drive last season. They were 18-12 winners over Enfield Ignatians at home with a key performer hooker Rob Botterman who rediscovered his form to command the cont

Datchworth moved into the top half of the table with a display reminiscent of their promotion drive last season.

They were 18-12 winners over Enfield Ignatians at home with a key performer hooker Rob Botterman who rediscovered his form to command the contest up front.

Ball hungry and aggressive, he was awarded a trademark try as he latched on to the back of a textbook drive for the home side's first score.

This brought the villagers back into a contest the opening of which had been dominated by Ignatians.

Quick recycling and powerful fringe runs stretched the home defence who struggled to reposition themselves at each phase. Their line was breached twice, with one converted, and only a Richie Howells penalty in reply left Datchworth trailing 12-3 with 20 minutes gone.

The next 20 minutes showed clear signs that the new and established players are really starting to gel. In particular new second row Mark Holgate has formed an effective engine room with stalwart Paul Broadwood and they kept the large Enfield pack in check.

Datchworth remained patient as Enfield continually infringed leading to the belated yellow shown to the lock.

The ensuing lineout and drive led to Botterman's score which was converted from wide out by Howells who also added a penalty.

Any Enfield attacks were thwarted by fine tackling from flankers Matt Francis and Tony Hewitson and the fly-halves had swapped influential roles with Andy Tarsey now outplaying his opposite man.

The narrow half-time lead was soon extended. A turnover was quickly delivered to Howells who committed the last man before popping the ball inside to number eight Jamie Sinclair who crossed the line.

Head coach Mark Pittaccio's call to concentrate on field position was well heeded as Tarsey, scrum-half Danny Horne and full-back Tom Nesbitt kept the visitors pinned deep in their own half.

Enfield, still confident from the opening exchanges, lacked the patience to build an attack always leaving their dangerous backline 75m to cover to bring themselves back into the match. Datchworth always had a tackler in pursuit.

Pittaccio said: "This was a performance full of character and everyone concentrated on the part they had to play.

"From a shaky start we regrouped, stayed disciplined and played the percentage game.

"In the second half Enfield made more clean breaks than us but we decided where on the pitch the game was going to be played and that proved decisive."

Datchworth welcome Hadleigh in the second round of the national knockout competition this Saturday.


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