DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK’S South African scrum half scored an excellent quick fire hat-trick of tries in thirteen minutes as Darlington Mowden Park deservedly took the honours in this tussle between these two free flowing sides.
Both sides tried to play expansive rugby with kicking at a premium and it was the finishing power of Darlington Mowden Park that decided the game. Caldy threw away an 18-6 half time advantage as the north eastern outfit took the spoils.
Caldy’s Head Coach Stuart Turner said after the game: “Two injuries without question changed the game with Derek Salisbury and Andrew Soutar leaving the pitch early and we simply didn’t look after the ball at all in the second half. We had a great first half, everything seemed to be going well. In the second half, three or four instances changed the game.
“It is great to have Harry Broadbent back in the team, we have missed his pace and athleticism. Darlington stuck at it well throughout the first half despite our pressure and were always in the game and played some good rugby in the second half with their scrum half benefiting from their side being on the front foot.”
Caldy had the better of the first half exchanges and scored a try after only four minutes when hooker Christian Jones drove for the line ably assisted by Salisbury and forced his way over. Vasey converted to make it 7-0.
Grant Connon hit back for Darlington Mowden Park with a penalty before Ben Eaves found room out wide to touch down for Caldy’s second try with only 17 minutes on the clock.
Grant Connon kicked another penalty for the visitors on 19 minutes before two penalties from the boot of Vasey on 36 minutes and the stroke half time saw Caldy go in at the break 18-6 to the good.
During the break, Darlington Mowden Park had clearly realised they were still in the game and took the game to Caldy as their backs and forwards ran at Caldy from every angle. Soutar left the field with a hip injury on 43 minutes which seemed to affect Caldy’s organisation.
Connon kicked a penalty for Darlington on 46 minutes which was cancelled out by one from the boot of Vasey on 49 minutes. Darlington’s scrum half Zylon McGaffin then took over the scoring as he scored three opportunistic tries.
All three of the tries were gifted to the talented nine as Caldy made uncharacteristic errors in their own 22 metre line and he capitalised in stylish fashion.
The scrum half was undoubtedly man of the match although the Darlington open side flanker Wishnowsky ran him close with a tremendous performance with numerous turnovers and several bone crunching tackles from the Kiwi.