Tom Little’s review of the rest of last weekend’s National League One action
Birmingham Moseley 38 24 Hull Ionians attendance 683
Bishop’s Stortford 17 36 Plymouth Albion lowest 350
Blackheath 16 15 Ampthill & District 530
Darlington Mowden Park 35 18 Cambridge 777
Esher 32 17 Rosslyn Park 400
Fylde 7 43 Old Elthamians highest 955
Loughborough Students 26 31 Caldy 412
Old Albanian 19 21 Coventry Rugby 420
ONLY Darlington Mowden Park remain with a 100% record after week three as Coventry faied to earn a bonus point at Old Albanian but are still unbeaten along with Blackheath. There are three sides yet to win with Hull Ionians and Fylde still to gain even a match point, whilst OA have two bonus points.
For the third week running the home win percentage was only 50%, suggesting that the league this season will be the closest ever.
Darlington Mowden Park take over at the top of the table after their bonus point home victory over Cambridge. In poor conditions, a close first half was followed in the second half by a second try from fly-half Warren Seals and a brace from Falcons loanee, flanker Simon Uzokwe as poor Cambridge defence and punished errors saw DMP go clear.
Blackheath maintained their unbeaten record with a narrow one-point win over visitors Ampthill & District. Blackheath have to thank former Ampthill fly-half Joe Tarrant for a last-minute penalty to sneak the win, a repeat of what he did against Plymouth Albion two weeks earlier. Some great defence by the home side thwarted the impressive Ampthill pack as pressure built up but failed to produce enough points.
League newcomers Bishop’s Stortford lost their unbeaten record to visitors Plymouth Albion who came from 17-14 down at half-time to ease to a bonus point win. The Albion pack took control in the second half as an injury-hit home side faltered, although two late tries put somewhat of a gloss on the final score. The win moves Albion into fourth while dropping BS down to seventh.
Another league newcomer, Caldy had a more successful outing as they went to Loughborough Students and came back with a bonus point victory despite going behind 23-0 in 30 minutes. Caldy were a different proposition in the second half as their attacking flair, coupled with a much better defence, allowed them to sneak a win which moves them up to fifth spot.
Rosslyn Park continued their stuttering start to the season as neighbours Esher enjoyed a resounding bonus point home victory. Esher bounced back from a large defeat at Plymouth Albion with former Worthing wing Karyim Irving scoring two first-half tries to give them an 18-3 half-time lead. Park mounted a second half fightback before two late Esher tries sealed the win which puts them up to sixth place but drops Park to 11th.
Friday night saw Birmingham Moseley exorcise last week’s large defeat against Coventry by scoring a bonus point victory over visiting bottom side Hull Ionians. Two fine backs tries in the first half set Moseley on their way and was followed by two from the forwards early in the second. Yet Hull Ionians never gave up and scored three of their own before a late home surge denied them even a losing bonus point.
The largest crowd of the day was at Fylde where the home side slumped to their third successive loss, to league newcomers Old Elthamians. A close first period saw the home side squander chances, allowing OE to score two early tries. With fly-half Joe Carlisle running the show, OE took control and ran in four further tries for a comprehensive win which allowed them to get their first win of the season but left Fylde still winless and with no points.