Dawson cheek is clincher in Darlington’s late show
SECOND faced off against third at the Northern Echo Arena and it was Darlington’s Adam Radwan finish off Ruaridh Dawson’s audacious chip to win it for the home side with a lastgasp try.
Ampthill took a 14-15 lead into the closing minutes of the game but as the visitors tried to run the clock down, the ball broke for Mowden and it was Radwan who eventually ended up crossing for the all-important score.
His score left DMP coach John Newton understandably jubilant at the final whistle.
“I was proud of the guys, who played with great spirit,” he said. “All credit to Ampthill, they are well organised but as these games are sometimes won and lost on the last play, we stuck it out and just did enough.”
It wasn’t long before DMP opened the scoring, as good lineout possession was gained within the visitors 22 line and the ball whisked across the back line for Radwan to score in the corner – Warren Seals converting.
Home flanker Matt Heaton was sin-binned after 15 minutes for a red zone offence, but the visitors were unable to capitalise and by the time he had returned no scores had been added by either side.
Ampthill replied just prior to the interval, when winger Nigel Baker latched onto a catch and drive lineout, running around the outside to score after 36 minutes – Lawrence Rayner converting to level the scores at half-time.
Both teams emerged after the break with purpose and battered away at each other in order to gain ascendancy, with few
opportunities created from the hard endeavour.
Defences were strong on the part of both teams and some shuddering tackles were made within the fivemetre lines by both teams.
Ampthill registered a penalty from Rayner on 52 minutes, as the game built to an eruption in the final quarter – with three tries scored in just 20 minutes.
First, home prop Adam Brocklebank forced his way over from close range, taking DMP ahead, with Seals adding the conversion to push them further ahead.
With the visitors just four points behind they always seemed in the game, and so it proved when a determined break through several home defenders by Maama Molitika took him over the line.
Ampthill tried to control the game and keep it tight for the remainder, but DMP always seemed capable of breaking out of defence.
Then came the final minute and Radwan’s opportunity to show his scoring prowess, and with Seals’ conversion there was no time for any back for a brave Ampthill.
Ampthill rugby director Mark Lavery praised his charges for their efforts. He said: “It was a titanic struggle between two evenly matched sides and could have gone either way.
“Well done to DMP, the showed better execution and deserved to edge it in the end.”
Composed finish: Adam Radwan scores the first try. Right: Garry Law and Matt Heaton stop an Ampthill attack