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DK battle hard but fade at finish

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: March 15, 2014

By Graham Robbins

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CALDY 66

DUDLEY K'FORD 15

THE large score in favour of the home side was not a true reflection of the game as Dudley enjoyed equal amounts of territory and possession. The difference being the quality of the powerful finishing of the Caldy 15.

This was highlighted by the class of centre Gavin Roberts who should surely be playing at a higher level. In the first five minutes DK exerted good pressure and following a penalty for crossing, Gareth Bown found touch deep in the Caldy 22.

A good lineout was secured and the maul was driven forward only for the ball to be knocked forward just short of the Caldy line. The home side defended well and in the sixth minute were awarded a penalty, which they took quickly. The ball was worked through several pairs of hands for centre Dom Kohler to score. Richard Vassey was successful with the conversion.

DK came storming back and in the ninth minute they were awarded a penalty and Gareth Bown successfully converted.

From the restart it was the home team who pressurised the Dudley defence and within two minutes centre Gavin Roberts crossed for a well deserved try. The score went unconverted.

Play continued to ebb and flow and DK were unlucky not to score when Gareth Bown hit the upright with a penalty attempt.

There then followed an entertaining passage of play by both teams but it was Caldy who once again showed their superior finishing qualities when left wing Ross Craig out paced a slow cover defence to latch onto a deep kick ahead to score. Once again Richard Vassey added the extra points.

Midway through the half Dudley were awarded a penalty on the Caldy 10-metre line. Gareth Bown reacted sharply and took a quick tap and raced 40 metres to score a fine individual try underneath the posts. He then added the additional points. At this stage DK were still well in the contest.

However in the final eight minutes of the half Caldy put daylight between the sides when fly-half Richard Vassey crossed for a try which he duly converted. The half came to a close with DK pressuring the home side only to knock on when in a favourable position.

Within six minutes of the second half the home team raced into a 38-10 lead with two quick tries. The first scored by scrum-half Alec Smith who reacted quickly with the tapped penalty ten metres out and the second was a little fortuitous. Full back Andrew Souter fly hacked a loose ball and following a kind bounce crossed unopposed. Richard Vassey converted one of the two.

On 55 minutes, DK reshuffled their line up. Hooker Matt Humphries moved to prop in place of Josh Morrisey with Matt Squires taking over the hooking duties. Rhodri Williams moved into the back row with Ryan Smitherman slotting in at full back. Tony Jordan came off the bench to fill the wing position.

Both teams continued to try and play entertaining rugby but it was the superior skills of Caldy that proved to be the difference and on the hour, centre Dom Kohler crossed for his second try which was converted by Richard Vassey.

Ten minutes later Dudley responded with their second try. Following an excellent passage of play the ball was worked wide to Tony Jordan to score in the corner. Unfortunately, Gareth Bown was unable to add the additional points. At this point DK replaced Sam Shepherd with Kieran Pinches. The last ten minutes saw the home team cross for a further three tries. The first coming from John Broxson following a tap and go from a penalty. The second was a gift for centre Gavin Roberts who intercepted a DK knock on inside their own 22.

Finally, a further error by Dudley saw the home team work the ball the full length of the field for Neil Dowdridge to score. To rub salt in the wounds Richard Vassey converted all three with a fine display of goal kicking.

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