Round Three in National One hit all the elements needed for an action packed rugby weekend as three sides maintained their perfect starts.
The competition delivered once again in terms of entertainment and for Darlington Mowden Park, Coventry and Blackheath, they are the teams currently reaping the rewards.
When you look at how this opening month of the season is shaping up, all three clubs have won matches in different ways, which highlights the quality they have. Whether they can continue this form, we will wait and see but they will be fully aware of other sides also clicking into gear.
Plymouth Albion, Esher and Birmingham Moseley all looked strong over the weekend while newly promoted Caldy and Old Elthamians are adapting to life rather well in National One.
Darlington Mowden Park 35-18 Cambridge
Darlington Mowden Park continued their winning start to the National One season with a bonus-point victory over Cambridge at the Northern Echo Arena.
Ean Griffiths’ try and the boot of Jack Green put the Blood and Sand 10-7 up but after a score from Warren Seals, Jack Brady’s neat offload created a Grant Connon try to give the hosts the lead at the break.
Simon Uzokwe extended DMP’s advantage and after the flanker touched down, the home side continued to be ruthless.
Seals and Uzokwe both went over to ultimately secure the win with Cambridge having the last say when James Ayrton crossed late on.
Old Albanian 19-21 Coventry
A second-half try from Will Maisey proved to be the difference at Woolams as Coventry clinched victory over Old Albanian.
The Cov fly-half dotted down on 55 minutes and that proved to be the decisive score in the match.
Maisey landed his conversion and also slotted over the extras following tries from Heath Stevens and Rob Knox in the first period.
OAs points came from the boot of the impressive Will Watt and a try by Tadgh McElroy.
The contest ebbed and followed throughout, but the OAs were never able to pull away from Coventry who battled hard to secure their third straight win of the campaign.
Blackheath 16-15 Ampthill and District
Blackheath secured their third win on the trot as they edged out Ampthill and District thanks to a late Joe Tarrant penalty.
Joe Berics’ opened the scoring for the visitors, but a try for Jake Lloyd on 27 minutes reduced the lead to just two points.
Both sides exchanged penalties heading into the break, but after the interval, Club went ahead for the first time in the contest as Mark Cooke went over.
The A’s responded well to going behind as Nigel Baker crashed over to put the away side back in front.
Ampthill looked the more likely to go and seal the game, but they failed to capitalise on Andres Nilsson’s yellow-card and were made to pay as Tarrant struck three points right at the death to snatch victory away from his former side.
Bishop’s Stortford 17-36 Plymouth Albion
Plymouth Albion’s came from behind to secure victory over Bishop’s Stortford at Silver Leys.
James Apperley and Sam Winter both crossed in the first period for the hosts, but Albion fought back to reduce the deficit to just three points at half-time thanks to scores from Eoghan Grace and Tom Hendrickson.
After a tough first period for Kieran Hallet’s side, Albion were rampant in the second period as they scored 22 unanswered points to clinch the win.
George Mills, Matt Shepherd and Matt Crosscombe all crossed while Dan Mugford took his tally to 11 points with the boot as Plymouth sealed back to back victories.
Loughborough Students 26-31 Caldy
Newly promoted Caldy battled back to secure a bonus-point victory over Loughborough Students.
First-half tries from Alex Glashan and Jordan Olowofela, plus 13 points via Owen Waters, helped give Students a 23-0 lead.
Mark Dixon crossed just before half-time for Caldy, but after a tough first period, the Wirral outfit sparked into life after the interval to produce a superb comeback.
Waters added another penalty for the hosts, but Simon Verbickas’ men went on to score 21 points without reply.
JJ Dickinson and Gavin Roberts reduced Loughborough’s advantage to just two points before Ben Jones completed the fightback 12 minutes from time.
Esher 32-17 Rosslyn Park
Esher bounced back from defeat against Plymouth Albion to put four tries past Rosslyn Park at Moseley Road.
An impressive first half by the Surrey-based side had them in control at 18-3 ahead with Karyim Irving scoring a brace and Paul Roberts landing eight points.
Park rallied after the break with William Crow closing the gap, but his try was cancelled out as Spencer Sutherland smashed his way over on 69 minutes.
The visitors continued to stay in this contest as Harry Leonard scored with seven minutes to go, but Esher halted their charge as Matthew Lowe’s late try settled the contest.
Birmingham Moseley 38-24 Hull Ionians
Birmingham Moseley sealed their first win of the season as they comfortably beat Hull Ionians at Billesley Common.
Greg King gave Moseley and early lead, following an Issac Green penalty for the visitors, and the hosts added a second try when Sam Pointon crossed for his first score for the club.
Huw Taylor went over after half-time for Moseley, who capitalised on a yellow card shown to Richard Stout, and the bonus-point was wrapped up soon after as Buster Lawrence extended their lead.
Steve Slingsby, Greg Lound and Sam Wilson gave Hull hope of a comeback following an excellent spell of pressure, but Ryan Roach sealed it for the hosts.
Fylde 7-43 Old Elthamians
Old Elthamians ran in six tries as they hammered winless Fylde to secure their first ever victory in National One.
OEs were 17-7 up at half-time after two first-half tries from Harry Ledger and Kieran Moffatt with Joe Carlisle the architect in both scores.
Fylde’s points came via Connor Wilkinson and Greg Smith, but it was to be another tough afternoon for the Lancashire side who fell away in the second period.
The visitors dominated proceedings as Sam Egerton, Max Wilkins, Dom Lespierre and Moffatt all crossed to round of a commanding display from Gavin Lach’s side.