Stags deny Datch

PUBLISHED: 11:43 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

Datchworth Rugby Club’s first XV 2006-7 season

Datchworth Rugby Club’s first XV 2006-7 season

Datchworth 8 Stevenage Town 10 Stags beat local rivals Datchworth by two tries to one in a derby day battle of attrition at The Green. Town elected to play up the slope in the first half and found it difficult to break out of their own half in this London

Datchworth coach Mark Pittaccio with four colts given their senior debuts this season, l-r: Matt Holgate, Matt Hankin, Dan McGuire and Tom Nesbitt

Datchworth 8 Stevenage Town 10

Stags beat local rivals Datchworth by two tries to one in a derby day battle of attrition at The Green.

Town elected to play up the slope in the first half and found it difficult to break out of their own half in this London Three North West clash.

Datchworth were awarded an early opportunity to take the lead through a Richie Howells penalty in front of the posts.

Stags scored when a kick to get behind the Datchworth line saw their hapless full-back fumble the ball.

Town's formidable front row of Barry Cook, Ben Tranter and captain Neil Bamber had a sniff of an expectant pushover try.

The smaller Datchworth pack dug in though and defended the line with determination.

This forced number eight Gareth Roberts to pick up before the line and test the blindside and draw the defence to find space for debut winger Ian Cutts to touch down in the corner.

Iain Penny was unlucky not to convert the try out wide.

Stags started the new half well with an expectation of running down hill and presenting their centre partnership of Alex Willcox and Peter Smith with more space to what appeared to be a tiring defence.

An intelligent kick to find touch by Michael Wilson, acting as fly-half for the day, gave Town the chance to disrupt and steal the resultant Datchworth lineout as Adam Amos increased their lead.

Town smelled blood but poor support allowed both Willcox and Smith to get isolated.

A clearance penalty brought Datchworth back into Town's half with a five-metre lineout.

The catch and drive at the lineout gave Datchworth a score as they touched down led by home skipper Jamie Sinclair.

Howells missed the conversion which would have levelled the scores and earned at least a point.

Datchworth then had three penalty attempts at goal but Howells was not wearing his kicking shoes as all three fell short or were wide.

It was the second consecutive week that the village side have lost by two points.

Coach Mark Pittaccio said: "Obviously we are disappointed to have lost again by such a narrow margin but we are developing a young side to take us to the next level."

Welshman Al Thomas was left with a fractured jaw in making a superb cover tackle and will be out for at least six weeks.

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