LUCS SUFFER FIRST DEFEAT OF SEASON
Dings Crusaders RFC v Luctonians RFC
Saturday 4th November 2023 – Shaftesbury Park
Match Reporter – Alex Smith
Luctonians suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, as they went down to a 79th minute penalty on the road at Dings Crusaders.
After a miserable morning, the game was actually played in good conditions on an artificial surface in Bristol, and both sides at times looked to use the conditions to play some high quality rugby, with Dings’s ability to take points from all their visits to the visitors’ territory being the difference in the end.
Lucs started the game the stronger though and after having an effort held up over the line, got first points on the board through the potent Charlie Grimes who picked up an 80 metre interception to run in his 13th try of the season, to take him to the top of the league standings. Louis Silver added the simplest of conversions for 0-7 after 10 minutes.
What followed was a long period of rugby in the middle third of the field, where both teams prodded and jabbed but were good enough to deal with each other’s attacking threats. As the half wore on though, the hosts began to win more of the many kicking duels that were taking place, and as a result fly half Jacob Perry added two penalties on 27 and 32 minutes, as reward for this territorial dominance.
Lucs would close the half out the stronger and were once more over the line but, with the referee not seeing a grounding, the half was brought to a close with the Herefordshire men leading a tight affair 6-7.
Half Time Score
Dings Crusaders RFC 6 v 7 Luctonians RFC
The second half started with back-to-back errors from the visitors, and a dropped ball on halfway was followed by a poor clearance kick from the ensuing pressure and one pass allowed winger Gabriel Goss to sprint in from 40 metres untouched to give Dings their first lead at 11-7.
The Herefordshire men then applied a mountain of pressure on the Dings line, for a concerted period of well over 10 minutes, but an impressive rearguard effort from the hosts saw them hold out, escape down the other end and poach three points immediately from a Luctonians infringement for hands in the ruck, with Perry making the scores 14-7.
The visitors were not done however, and on 67 minutes winger James Wheeler showed great strength to beat three would-be tacklers and dot down in the left-hand corner for an unconverted score and 14-12. And Lucs would actually retake the lead on 74 minutes, as scrum pressure resulted in the hosts being penalised and Silver made it 14-15.
But there would still be one more twist in the tale, as Lucs were penalised for not rolling from a ruck on 79 minutes and full-back Ciaran Donoghue slotted the three points from fully 49 metres to secure the win for the Bristol side.
Full Time Score
Dings Crusaders RFC 17 v 15 Luctonians RFC
The men from Kingsland will be disappointed to have seen their unbeaten record end, but can take heart from another strong performance at one of the toughest venues in the division. Lucs still sit top of the pile in National 2 West after eight rounds, and will look to lick their wounds and get back on track this coming weekend with the visit of Cornish based Camborne to Mortimer Park.
Luctonians Star Man
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Picture Credit – Bob Mole, Photographer