Dawson cheek is clincher in Dar­ling­ton’s late show

The Rugby Paper - - National League 1 - ■ By KEVIN ROBIN­SON

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.”

PIC­TURES: Shut­ter Press

Com­posed fin­ish: Adam Rad­wan scores the first try. Right: Garry Law and Matt Heaton stop an Ampthill at­tack

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