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Home > News > Dings Crusaders 16 - Rosslyn Park 14
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Your News Dings Crusaders 16 - Rosslyn Park 14

Park snatched victory with a dramatic injury-time try. In terms of possession, territory and quality of play they should have been home and dry well before then, but the Bristol side played as if their very lives depended upon the result. Combined with Park’s own errors this produced a nail biting finish for both sets of supporters (though any neutral not interested in the constant sound of a referee’s whistle might well have decided to leave before the end). Dings certainly gave Park a warm welcome. A first minute penalty by stand off Tom Lukjaniec put them 3-0 up as they piled on the pressure. Park won Dings’ first two lineouts but another penalty on 8 minutes put Dings 6-0 up. Park replied with what was almost the try-of-the-season. James Strong broke tackles to fly down the right wing and passed inside for Chris Simmons to streak over close to the posts only to be brought back for a forward pass. It was a marginal decision but correct. The visitors put together some good attacks but were constantly frustrated by handling errors and conceding penalties. Eventually they built up such a head of steam that they lay siege to the line and the home hooker was sent to the sin bin. Dylan Pugh put Park on the scoreboard with the resulting penalty. Park were unable to take advantage of the spare man and were beginning to leak penalties (the Canadian referee did them no favours whatsoever, but he wasn’t wrong all of the time). Three kickable penalties in the space of 6 minutes were all missed by Dings, but the last of them saw Amo Tauialo sent to join his fellow hooker in the sinbin. Restored to a full complement, Dings hacked on up the right, won the ball and their prop Barrie Cole went over to make it 11-3. Park came right back at them, forced a line out in the corner, gained a penalty and forced and won another line out but again failed to capitalise on their approach work and went into the interval 8 points in arrears. It might have appeared at times like Rolls Royce versus Massey Ferguson but if so the tractors deserved to be winning. The home side had enjoyed the advantage of a strong diagonal breeze in the first half. It appeared that Park had only to reduce the error and penalty count against them to comfortably prevail. That proved easier said than done. The second half was just about the most one-sided imaginable. Dings rarely escaped from their own half and spent most of the time in their own 22. Again and again Park ran, mauled and scrummaged at Dings but an outstanding defensive effort held them at bay. A third minute penalty was missed. A further penalty was hoofed to touch, the pack drove over but somehow the home defence held up Nick Huggett. Twice Park knocked on at the final pass with the line at their mercy; Martin Anayi was tackled before receiving the ball when in a scoring position but the referee failed to spot it. Another attack was stopped by a forward pass, another for not releasing. Eventually James Strong, who looked menacing all afternoon, broke the deadlock in the 68th minute with a try in the corner to make it 11-8. Almost from kick off, pretty much the first time Dings had crossed the half way line, they were awarded a penalty and the lead was again extended to 6 points. Play returned to the Dings 22. A dynamic run from Strong brought another frustrating knock on. Awarded a penalty in front of the posts with 5 minutes to go, skipper Rob Jewell showed immense faith in his troops by asking Pugh to accept the 3 points for 14-11, thus backing his side to score again in the time remaining. The match went into injury time with Dings still defending incredibly bravely in their own 22 but eventually the pressure told and inevitably it was Strong who forced his way over for a 16-14 lead, Pugh taking as much time as decently possible with an impossible conversion attempt. With no time left after the restart, Park needed to avoid giving any excuse to penalise them. Instead it was the home side who sinned and the penalty was joyously booted over the adjacent pitch and Park celebrated. They left it late, but on the balance of play any other result would have been a complete travesty.

Park: Simmons; Strong, O’Driscoll, Jewell, Swords; Pugh; Barr: Huggett, Tauialo (Ritchie), Frazier; Quigley (Cooper), Forster; Jones, Anayi, Gates.

Subs not used: Williams, Evans, Mahony.

Park scorers: Strong (2T), Pugh (2P).

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