Dunstablians returned from Market Harborough pointless after losing their Midlands 2 East (South) contest 33-18 on Saturday, writes Jamie Bourne.
Looking to build on last weekend’s exciting win against Lutterworth, Dees took an early 3-0 lead through Kevin Boland’s kick, after they were awarded a penalty when the opposition player had his hands in the ruck.
The home side quickly levelled proceedings after being awarded a penalty when Dees failed to release the ball, then went 10-3 ahead. The ball was spread wide from the lineout and after some clever passing, they put down for a try with extras.
Another similar play saw the home side claim another try.
Boland added another three points from a penalty kick, awarded when the opponents purposely brought down the scrum. But Dave Marshall’s side were under the cosh throughout most of the first half and they couldn’t keep out the dangerous opposition. Harborough managed to take a 25-6 lead before half-time, with a converted try and a penalty kick.
The first score of the second half came when Dees were penalised for holding on to the ball.
Jordan Warner used his lightning speed on more than one occasion to make up 20 yards on the attacking player and make some vital tackles, which helped to limit further try-scoring opportunities for the home side.
David Tuffen, Nathan Arris and Matthew Knight all put in a hard shift and were replaced by Alex Ayres, Matthew Read and Mattie Anderson.
Sub Ayres made an impact when he came on. Dees earned a penalty, from which Boland chose to play for the lineout. Ayres broke with the ball and beat four players to put down for a try. Boland missed the conversion – 28-11.
Market Harborough then stretched their lead further, when they drove forward from the scrum to put down for a try.
Dees’ consistent pressure high up the pitch paid off when an attempted clearance was blocked by Luke Ashton, who had a clear run to put down for a try – with Boland adding the extras – 33-18.
Dees continued their attempts to force openings but the well-drilled Harborough defence were difficult to break down. Aaron White, not usually known for his agility, gained the yards for Dees as he skipped between the opposition forwards but his impressive run was brought to an end by the opposition defence.
Dunstablians host second place Northampton Old Scouts this weekend.