Darts entertained title contenders Sevenoaks folowing a run of three successive wins hoping they could continue their good form. The teams were also contesting the Ron Standen Trophy for the first time in memeory of Ron who played and coached Dartfordians for many years and also coached Sevenoaks to a couple of promotions. The conditions were prefect for playing and darts were immediately looking strong in the set piece but a couple of small errors allowed Sevenoaks to apply pressure. The defences of both sides were very quick to get in the faces of the attacking team and both sides were making mistakes because of this. Darts pushed the visitors back but conceded a penalty but immediately turned the ball over and Sam Allen made a great break but with the best defensive record in the league Sevenoaks recovered well. Liam Brencher made a good break but again was well tackled and unfortunately was injured in the process. Darts retained good pssesion and field position and forced a penalty which gave them the lead through Mike Briggs. 3-0. Sevenoaks were looking sharp and well organised and they came back strongly forcing a penalty which was kicked into the corner. From the lineout Sevenoaks drove forward but were held. Another penalty and another lineout drive which was successful in giving the visitors their opening try which was converted. 3-7. Darts were certinly not overawed facing a team in such good form and some more really good phase play pushed themselves into the opposition 22. Despite having the ball Sevenoaks couldn't get out of their 22 and when Sam Allen forced a turnover another pen from Mike Briggs. 6-7. Sevenoaks were always looking to move the ball into space and a great attack saw them stretch the Darts defence and a desperate tackle in the corner was deemed to be high and a penalty try awarded. 6-14. Darts weere well in the game but small errors were hurting them badly and another penalty allowed Sevenoaks to kick deep into Darts territory and again their driving play was strong and after a couple phases went over under the posts. 6-21. A competitive first half with some good play from both sides with the visitors being more clinical but Darts were still in the match. The second half started with Darts again having a lot of possesion taking play to Sevenoaks but again it was the organised defensive pattern from the visitors that was keeping the home side at bay. Ollie Edwards , Kieron Ryan and Sam Allen were all making good ground with the ball nut Darts just needed a little extra to make a breakthrough. Sevenoaks with their greater experience at London 1 level took advantage of any loose ball and moved play back into Darts half and again it was their driving play that forced Darts on the back foot and continuity play eventually saw them plant the ball against the foot of the post too extend their lead. 6-28. Darts have great heart and despite the score continued to press play and push Sevenoaks back into their half and their belief was rewarded when after some concerted pressure keeping good control of the ball it was scrum half Danny Taylor who went over for a well deserved try. Mike Briggs converted. 13-28. Darts were in the ascendancy now and again pushed play deep into the vistors half and drive afeter drive were repelled by the excellent Sevenoaks defence. Sevenoaks were penalised for a high tackle and had a player binned which gave Darts more belief they could get something out of the match. With a 5 metre scrum Darts drove the visitors pack back and when they broke apart and stopped the try the referee had no choice but to award a penalty try ro take the score to 20-28. This was the end of the match and perhaps if they had a few more minutes to play Darts may have got a losing bonus point which they would have deserved. A very competitive match which despite having too many errors from both sides was very entertaining for the large crowd. Sevenoaks were deserved winners however Darts showed they deserve to be playing at this level and if they can cut out some silly errors will be a match for all sides in this league. Player of the match was Kieran Ryan for his great play at full back.
Win a Maximuscle training session with Anthony Watson