Play to the end appeal

PUBLISHED: 12:52 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

NEW boys Datchworth will have to start playing for 80 minutes if they are to retain their league status this season. They shared the points in London Three North West by drawing 18-18 at Bank of England. Similar to their last away fixture at Imperial Medi

NEW boys Datchworth will have to start playing for 80 minutes if they are to retain their league status this season.

They shared the points in London Three North West by drawing 18-18 at Bank of England.

Similar to their last away fixture at Imperial Medicals, they dominated the opening half, built up a respectable lead and then allowed the opposition to deny them a valuable league point in the closing minutes.

From the moment Richie Howells opened with a long range penalty, the visitors looked in control.

A trademark Datchworth catch and drive from the lineout inevitably saw hooker Rob Botterman touch down for the score. Andy Tarsey added the conversion.

Howells created the second try by cutting through the first line of defence before feeding the ball to full-back Tom Nesbitt who committed his tackler and fed the ball in space to right winger Olu Oleneye. He justified his selection by outpacing the remaining cover for a score in the corner.

Datchworth then relaxed and the Bank of England's heavy pack drove over from a breakdown in midfield for a converted try.

A second half of errors and poor decision making allowed the home side to compete.

An unfortunate ricochet off Nesbitt's shoulder found the hands of Bank's full-paced centre who crossed for a try.

A drop goal from Bank and a Howells penalty were then traded to set up a tense last 10 minutes.

Datchworth continued to pressure but looked one dimensional.

The attacks were easily read, the ball carrier often had few options and possession was too often kicked away even when the try line was at the mercy of their back line.

Two further penalties were awarded. Howells went wide while Bank dissected the posts leaving the scores level.

Head coach Mark Pittaccio was clearly displeased yet philosophical.

He said: "We have been promoted three times by being on the right side of close games.

"So far this season there is only a combined seven point spread across all four league results.

"If three penalties had gone over we would be at the top, if two had missed we would be at the bottom.

"We have a lot of new young players but that is no excuse. We had the players and the plan to win and we must learn to hold on to these leads and see these games out."

Datchworth host league leaders Ruislip this Saturday.


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