Coventry move top as Old Albanian frustrate Darlington
Coventry climbed to the summit of National One following their sixth straight victory of the campaign.
Rowland Winter’s men secured a narrow win over Bishop’s Stortford while Darlington Mowden Park’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end as they were edged out by Old Albanian.
Danny Brown’s side have now dropped to third in the standings as Plymouth Albion continued their impressive home record against Cambridge and there were also wins for Blackheath, Ampthill & District and Old Elthamians.
At the wrong end of the table, there were the right results for Rosslyn Park and Hull Ionians. Park arrested a run of four straight defeats as they beat Loughborough Students while the I’s secured their first win of the season against Esher.
Coventry 30-27 Bishop’s Stortford
Will Maisey’s last-gasp penalty secured victory for Coventry over newly promoted Bishop’s Stortford at Butts Park.
The hosts led 19-13 after James Stokes, Sam Tuitupou and Anthony Matoto had all dotted down, while a Chris Smith try and eight points from George Cullen kept Stortford in touch.
Another couple of Cullen penalties plus a Rory Banks try briefly gave the visitors the lead, but Maisey landed three points of his own to edge Cov back in front.
This match continued to ebb and flow as Cullen nudged his side in front once again, but Stokes came up with a crucial score on 74 minutes to give Rowland Winter’s men a three point advantage.
But the impressive Cullen tied the game up as his accuracy never waived throughout this contest, however his opposite number would grab the headlines as Maisey stole it at the death.
Plymouth Albion 17-10 Cambridge
Plymouth Albion moved up to second in National One with a gutsy victory against Cambridge at Brickfields.
A try from Dan Mugford helped the home side into a 7-5 lead by half-time after Mike Ayrton had put Cambridge in front.
Albion stretched their advantage with a Jamie Salter try immediately after the break before Mugford’s second ultimately sealed the game for the hosts.
Cambridge did defend well throughout this contest and their endeavour was rewarded late on as Ean Griffiths earned them a losing bonus-point as he dotted down from close range.
Old Albanian 33-31 Darlington Mowden Park
Old Albanian came from behind to inflict a first defeat of the season on Darlington Mowden Park.
Tries from Adam Radwan and Brendon Asher-Wood, to one from Tom Bednall, gave DMP a 18-13 lead.
Bednall added a second to put his side in front and the hosts held a two point advantage after Dan Watt and Brett Connon had exchanged penalties.
The home side then took a huge step towards victory when Reuben Bird-Tulloch powered past the Darlington defence to make it 30-21.
There were further twists to come as Simon Uzowke’s try and a Connon penalty gave the visitors a one point lead, but with just minutes remaining, OA’s struck over a penalty to snatch the win.
Birmingham Moseley 14-55 Blackheath
Blackheath continued their fine start to the National One season with a convincing nine-try thrashing of Birmingham Moseley at Billesley Common.
Club scored five first half tries via Danny Herriott, Jake Lloyd, Geoff Griffiths, Fred Owen and Leo Fielding.
Griffiths, Fielding and Joe Tarrant as well as a penalty try followed in the second half for Blackheath.
Ciaran Moore and a penalty try was all Moseley had to show from a tough afternoon, as James Shanahan’s side produced a rampant display.
Ampthill and District 35-12 Fylde
Ampthill and District made it three wins on the bounce as they comfortably beat Fylde at Dillingham Park.
A Josh Sharp try gave the A’s an early lead and he was swiftly backed up by Chris West who wrestled himself over the line.
Further Ampthill pressure yielded another try on 31 minutes as Alex Woolford dotted down to give the home side a 21-0 lead at the break.
Ollie Parkinson’s try cut Ampthill’s advantage after the restart but the home side regained control with a score from Sam Hanks.
Greg Smith crossed late on for Fylde, but the hosts deservedly had the final say on proceedings as James Pritchard wrapped up the victory.
Old Elthamians 23-21 Caldy
Old Elthamians once again held out to clinch a victory, this time against Caldy at College Meadow.
Gavin Lach’s men narrowly beat Cambridge last week and had to put in a similar performance in Round Six to secure their fourth win on the spin.
OE’s lead 15-7 at the break after Dom Lespierre’s early try was backed up by Tom Scorgie and Chris Surman, while Rhys Hayes went over for Caldy.
Tom White crossed for OEs’ only try of the second period and for the final half an hour of this clash, the visitors responded.
A penalty try plus a Nick Royle scored made it a two point game on 70 minutes, but the hosts kept their cool to continue their excellent recent run.
Rosslyn Park 49-14 Loughborough Students
Rosslyn Park ended a run of four straight defeats with an emphatic victory over Loughborough Students.
Park, who hadn’t won since the opening day of the season, led 20-7 at half-time through Harry Hudson and Andrew Henderson tries.
But five further tries, including one from Harry Robinson, put the result beyond doubt with Loughborough only managing to double their tally in the second period.
Hull Ionians 43-28 Esher
Hull Ionians fought back from an early 21-0 deficit to beat Esher and clinch their first victory of the season.
Sam Boatman, Hugo Seccombe and Tom Trotter all scored first-half tries for Esher, but scores from Rikki Stout, Ali Thompson and James Sanderson made the game level at the break.
Ali Bone and Stout exchanged scores after the interval and that was as good as it got for Esher as the I’s took the game away from them.
An Issac Green penalty put the home side in front for the first time in the contest before late tries from Sam Wilson and Joe Allot sealed a much needed win for Hull Ionians.