Tom Little’s review of the rest of last weekend’s National League One action
Ampthill & District 22 12 Bishop’s Stortford attendance lowest 155
Birmingham Moseley 34 13 Old Albanian 696
Caldy 8 10 Darlington Mowden Park 320
Coventry Rugby 57 12 Esher highest 1626
Hull Ionians 32 21 Blackheath 257
Old Elthamians 12 7 Cambridge 277
Plymouth Albion postponed Loughborough Students
Rosslyn Park 31 15 Fylde 532
ROUND 19 saw Coventry Rugby increase their lead over Darlington Mowden Park to 15 points, whilst the postponement of the Plymouth Albion game sees them 22 points behind albeit with two games in hand. On a day when grounds were more suited to rice growing than rugby, there were only four try bonus points awarded. The very late postponement of the Albion match sees opponents Loughborough Students now on the same points as Hull Ionians.
Darlington Mowden Park edged a closely-fought, attritional game against Caldy on the Wirral. The visitors held a narrow half-time lead, the home side then edged into a one-point lead in the second period, only for a last-minute penalty to give DMP the win. The lack of a bonus point leaves DMP 15 points behind Coventry, whilst the Caldy loss drops them down a place to 11th.
Ampthill & District went back up to third place following their hard-fought win over Bishop’s Stortford before the lowest crowd of the day. A narrow half-time lead for the home side was increased early in the second period, and a yellow card for Dan Leo didn’t help as Ampthill sealed the win over a doughty and well drilled BS side.
Was it really the surprise result of the day as relegation candidate Hull Ionians duly despatched Coventry’s conquerors, Blackheath with a bonus point win? Despite gifting Blackheath an early try a confident home side took a narrow half-time lead. As conditions worsened, errors by the visitors gave Ionians the impetus to score two late tries for not only the win but also the crucial try bonus point. Perhaps an example of why Blackheath can raise their game for some but will not challenge for promotion. The win, although not moving HI out of the relegation places, brings them level on points with Loughborough Students. Esher’s loss at Coventry also brings them to within just six points of the danger zone.
Poor conditions also ruled the roost as Old Elthamians saw off a spirited challenge at home to Cambridge. The only try was scored by Cambridge, but fly-half Joe Carlisle kept OEs in the game and his four penalties, coupled with great home defence, sealed it for them. The win keeps OEs in sixth place but now equal on points with Blackheath in fifth.Cambridge drop down one place to tenth.
Birmingham Moseley eased to a regulation home try bonus victory over 15th-placed Old Albanian. It was very much thanks to their pack, especially the back row who set the home side on their way with three tries scored in each half. A close first half then saw Moseley ease into the bonus point try at the start of the second period before two more late tries put the icing on the cake. The win keeps Moseley in eighth position, whilst the loss leaves OA six points from safety.
Rosslyn Park continued their recent good form – now four wins out of five – with a bonus point win over bottom side Fylde. What a difference the returning key players make, but again too late for this season. Fly-half Oli Grove proved the key player as five tries were scored. The result moves Park up two to ninth, but leaves Fylde rooted at the bottom, now 15 points from safety.