DUDLEY K'FORD 0
Saturday 21st December
The results & aspirations of these two local rivals could not be more differently defined as we begin the reverse fixtures and the second half of the season. Early season favourites to win the league, Stourbridge currently lie third in the league; whilst DK are yet to register a league victory & lie bottom of the league.
DK were again forced to change the team which performed well last week; influential player coach Pete Knight having to cry off due to illness on the morning of the game. So DK's inexperienced team faced their the high flying neighbours. DK kicked off with a strong wind at their backs and after some early interchanges DK won a line out, only for possession to be turned over, lost by the competitive Stour forwards. The ball was taken up by the mid field creating an overlap for veteran winger Nathan Bressington to score an unconverted try in the corner.
Undeterred DK stuck at it and upped their game and following a fine penalty kick to the corner pinned the home team on their own line. Whereupon the nemesis which dogged the team all afternoon returned and possession again was lost at the line out. On this occasion the ball fell to DK old boy Stephan Shillingford and his powerful break took the game into the DK 22. After an exchange of passes Shillingford finished a lovely unconverted try.
A third try for the home team came a minute later after a missed tackle in midfield allowing classy fly half Gary Dipple to score a converted try under the posts. On the half hour, the fourth bonus point try by full back Jarvis, following yet another lost line out.
Within a minute DK loose forward Sam Pedley was yellow carded.
This 'picky' and candidly seemingly unnecessary decision during a hard fought but very clean game, gave the bigger, stronger, quicker Stourbridge an extra edge which saw them running in three more tries within a few minutes; one from Dacres and two more from Bressington, who completed his hat trick before half time.
Stour began the second half as they had finished the first – pressing the DK line, and Dacres scored his secnd try in the corner after 44 minutes, converted by Hearns.
At this the DK faithful feared the worse but the dogged defence of this young team ensured that there was only one more converted try scored during the half. Incredibly no points were scored during last 30 minutes of the game. Stour strangely appeared to lose their way and just as the DK faithful feared the worse – complete rout – the game drifted to an inevitable but quiet conclusion.
DK's shortcomings were obvious: a line out which barely functioned – constantly handing the ball back to the opposition and the inability to break the opposition's defensive line.
However during the post match club house formalities the many Stourbridge faithful, whilst puzzled at the dramatic loss of concentration of their team in the second half, were also full of praise for DK's magnificent defiant defence which never gave up throughout a game which was lost long before it ended.
The fortunes of these two clubs appear to be set on different courses and sadly it could be some time before they meet again at this level.
There will always be a healthy rivalry between the two clubs and whilst bragging rights rightfully belong to Stourbridge, one is left to reflect the following conundrum over the Christmas break – will only one or neither of these clubs be playing in National League 2 North next season ?
Saturday 4th January 2014 – Dudley Kingswinford are at home against Otley RFC
Kick off at 2.00pm.