Match Report

Darlington Mowden Park 22 vs Plymouth 19

17th Nov 2018

A spectacular start ends with defeat for Plymouth Albion in a hard fought encounter against Darlington Mowden Park.

Albion arrived in the North East, after stopping over in Wakefield overnight, however from the first whistle, Plymouth Albion got straight down to business, scoring a try in the third minute courtesy of hooker Jamie Salter, who profited from a typical catch and drive effort from the first lineout of the game, converted by full back Matt Shepherd to bring the score very quickly to a 0-7 lead to Albion.

It seemed that the lads were up for the fight and laying down their intentions, with Darlington having no time to recover from the early try, Jack Arnott goes over the line again after benefitting from a Darlington mistake, scooping up the ball on the half way line, chipping the oncoming defender, retaking the ball and showing his speed by outstripping the DMP defence for a score near the posts. Matt Shepherd unfortunately misses the resulting conversion, bring the score to 0-12 to Albion.

After the initial good play and periods of excellent possession by Albion, the game started to settle in to a more even affair, with both sides showing their will to win the game. But, then DMP began to exert pressure on the Albion line, then in a carbon copy of Albion’s first try, DMP showed they too could take a catch and drive lineout score, with their hooker, Jamie Blamire dotting down for DMP’s opener, with fly half Warren Seals adding the conversion to bring the score to 7-12 to Albion.

As the game progressed DMP started to exercise more control, with some good play on one side of the pitch resulting in a lineout. The throw was caught, driven forward and then after a couple of forward incursions, and some good handling the ball found itself in the hands of the DMP winger who exploited a defensive gap, who dived over the try line to level the scores at 12 – 12. DMP then edged in front when Warren Seals added the conversion to bring the score to 14-12 to DMP.

Just before half time, both sides lost try scoring key players. First to see yellow was Jack Arnott after an untimely tackle caught a DMP player in the air. Thankfully, the result was not too serious, but Jack found himself likely to see the first half out on the side lines.

Then Secondly, after a period of pressure by Albion on DMP’s line, Jamie Blamire was sent to ‘the cooler’ for bringing down a maul.

At half time the scores were close and an intense second half was on the cards. The score going into the break was 14-12 to DMP.

On the restart, it was DMP who were applying the pressure, resulting in DMP’s fullback Chris Georgiou, saw enough of a gap in Albion’s defence to exploit and dived over the line for the score, bring the game to DMP 19 – Plymouth Albion 12.

DMP looked like they wanted to take continue the pressure on Plymouth when a penalty kick to the posts was put aside by DMP in favour of a kick to the corner. But Albion weren’t beaten and from that point both sides put periods of pressure on their respective counterparts, testing defences both defences at times, both standing firm, until the last five minutes, when Albion deservedly drew level.

A series of scrums on the DMP’s home line saw Albion delivering a prolonged period of pick and drives, before replacement, Davy McGregor, was driven over for a vital try. Matt Shepherd was then under pressure to bring the scores level with his conversion, he duly accepted the challenge and point the ball through the centre of the posts. Game on! DMP 19 – Albion 19.

A determination by both sides made the last stages of the game scrappy at time, but with only seconds on the clock, Albion make a mistake and transgressed at the resulting maul, handing DMP the penalty, which Warren Seals elected to kick.

Unfortunately for Albion, the kick was successful making the score DMP 22 – Albion 19, closely followed by the final whistle to herald the end of the game.

Final score: Darlington Mowden Park 22, Plymouth Albion 19.

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