40

Eastmoor Dragons

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28

Open Age 1st Team

Sat 23 Feb 2019 | League | Away

Heworth's eagerly awaited return to Kingstone Press National Conference League Division 3 ended in a disappointing 40-28 defeat in a game of contrasting fortunes at Eastmoor Dragons. The Villagers after a near perfect display in the first half, looked well on course for success when leading 28-4 nine minutes into the second period but the loss of centres Gareth Watson and Adam Dent severely affected their structure and the hosts, on the back of two quick tries, went on to complete a remarkable comeback after adding four further touchdowns to take the spoils.
Heworth made a whirlwind start with hard working prop Jonny Cambridge forcing his way over from close range after only two minutes. Debutant winger Eddy Clapham added the conversion. Seven minutes later they went further ahead when some impressive handling led to Adam Dent crossing in the left corner for an unconverted score and on 17 minutes stand off George Elliott burst his way over past several defenders to make it 14-0. The Villagers continued to dominate, completing their sets and denying their opponents both possession and territory and on 29 minutes a flowing move down the left flank saw winger Jake Atkinson and Dent interchange passes and the centre raced away to score his second try which was improved by Clapham. Just over the half hour mark fellow centre Gareth Watson broke through on the halfway line and found second rower Liam Watling up in support to go in for Heworth's fifth touchdown of the half. Unfortunately Watson had to leave the field shortly after creating the score. Two minutes from the break the Dragons gave themselves a glimmer of hope with an unconverted try by scrum half Jacob Crossland to reduce the deficit to 24-4 at half time.
Nine minutes into the second period the Black and Whites looked to have regained the upper hand when Clapham followed up a kick from Watling to score in the right corner to make it 28-4. Suddenly and dramatically however, the game turned on its head with Eastmoorresponding on 53 minutes through centre Jason Roberts and after Heworth's restart kick off went out on the full Crossland notched his second touchdown from the resulting penalty. Veteran stand off and player-coach Adie Mulcahy tagged on both conversions. With Dent then having to retire through injury the Villagers completely lost their shape and began to struggle to contain the rejuvenated hosts and on the hour mark full back Danny Johnson crossed for another Mulcahy goaled effort to put them only six points in arrears. The writing was now on the wall for the visitors and the rampant Dragons went on to add three further tries from substitute Kevin Brown, prop Charlie Handforth and hooker Robbie Powell all of which Mulcahy improved to record what had looked an unlikely victory and leave the despondent Villagers reflecting on what might have been. 
Prop Jonny Cambridge took the man of the match award for Heworth.
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