Dale suf­fer last gasp try de­feat

Rochdale Observer - - TRAVEL - STEVE HELLIWELL

NON-STOP rain and at times, a fierce wind dic­tated the play at Moor­gate Ave.

It was go­ing to be a day for the for­wards and Dale were not at their strong­est in that department, two late cry offs put the re­place­ments into ac­tion. Harry Hill and Johnny Bradley started and fin­ished the game and fought hard through­out.

The open­ing 10 min­utes pro­duced pres­sure on both de­fences but nei­ther could find the fi­nal pass.

Rochdale were forced onto the back foot and tack­led their way out of their own 22 me­tre line.

The ref­eree gave Dale a penalty and Duffy’s ex­cel­lent kick for touch was re­warded with the first try for Dale.

Bradley’s ac­cu­rate throw in, was caught and quick ball out gave Jimmy Fl­itcroft his chance and af­ter some good sup­port play he crashed over the white­wash and un­der the posts. Oli Cold­man con­verted 7-0.

With 22 min­utes gone Dale had a li­ne­out deep in Water­loo ter­ri­tory, but not for the first time the ball was lost. Water­loo had sev­eral good pass­ing moves and raced up the pitch with good pace the cen­tre ran in un­der the posts. The sim­ple con­ver­sion put the score at 7-7.

Rochdale came back with their own very good pass­ing move and sup­port play af­ter James Duffy in­cepted a pass around the half­way line.

He raced for­ward and was caught but he had sup­port from Cold­man and Townsend, Duffy took the fi­nal pass and went over close in. Cold­man once again was ac­cu­rate with the boot and Dale were ahead by 7.

Water­loo now had the ma­jor­ity of the pos­ses­sion. Dale de­fence was be­ing bat­tered in true for­wards fash­ion. Helliwell and Hin­dle tack­led fe­ro­ciously, winger Matt Buck­ley put in a great tackle out wide to stop a cer­tain try but Water­loo re­grouped and forced their way over the line close to the posts.

Again an­other sim­ple con­ver­sion and it was game on at 14-14.

Water­loo now with their tails up put to­gether at strong pass­ing move which ended with the winger rac­ing through and into the cor­ner to score a good un­con­verted try.

Rochdale had re­laxed their con­cen­tra­tion and had paid the price. Cold­man had a long range penalty fall short and half­time beck­oned at 14-19.

Storm “Brian” had kicked in now and the rain and wind aided no-one. The style was up the jumper rugby and Dale found them­selves un­der pro­longed pres­sure as they fought to level the scores.

The Water­loo for­wards kept up the pick and go style and Rochdale had a set­back. Tom Hin­dle was in­jured, he had tack­led hard through­out and was now re­placed by Leo Freshou who never takes a back foot step. He part­nered Helliwell and they both gave their all.

On 70 min­utes Rochdale pro­duced the try of the game.

Hard yards had them in the Water­loo 22. Dale’s turn to bat­ter the Water­loo de­fence, the vis­i­tors’ tight­head was deemed by the ref­eree to have com­mit­ted one to many of­fences and was awarded a yel­low card.

Rochdale took the ball and twice tried to crash over the line. Af­ter yet an­other penalty the ball was worked to winger Blair Henry who dived full length for the cor­ner and over­took the de­fender as he touched down over the line. Water­loo then came at the Dale de­fence again.

Rochdale cleared their lines sev­eral times. Water­loo had an over­lap but failed to touch down. Dale cleared again. The pres­sure fi­nally told with the last play of the game. An un­con­verted pushover try by Water­loo gave them the vic­tory.

Res­o­lute and valiant in de­fence Dale had fought hard and had come away with one point. The in­jury list took an­other blow with Tom Hin­dle’s knee in­jury which could see him out for sev­eral weeks. On the plus side, Blair Henry’s re­turn af­ter a manda­tory three week lay­off and scor­ing an ex­cel­lent try to level the match late on, was a boost to him.

Travis Townsend jumps in the line-out for Rochdale

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