Douglas [I.O.M.] RFC. 24 v 10 Rochdale RUFC.
Sorry, no photo’s available at going to press.
Rochdale travelled to the I.O.M. on their one International game of the season and were warmly welcomed by the home side on a wet and misty day. The match promised much despite the soggy conditions as the earlier encounter at Moorgate Avenue had been a close run thing.
Dale were missing Travis Townsend due to of all things a cricket commitment and Jonnie Bradley returned at Hooker.
The opening encounters involved a lot of kicking with James Duffy and Ollie Coldman exchanging long range efforts . Dale had a good chance when Harry Hill broke through the Douglas defence but was brought down and penalized for not releasing. Next minute the home side made a good passing move and were able to score in the corner the try being converted 7-0. The game ebbed and flowed in the steady drizzle, good breaks by Jimmy Flitcroft and Rob Wadsworth both stopped on the home sides 22 , it was not until the 30th minute that Douglas got a penalty which led to a line out on the Dale 22 and a chip through was taken on the line by winger Blair Henry who grounded the ball on the line the referee a judged this to be a scrum to Douglas the ball came out to the winger who squeezed in at the corner for an unconverted try 12-0.
Dale continued to try and batter a way through the big Douglas pack with captain Tom Callaghan and Gui Desousa both making good yards. Half time arrived with the score still 12-0. Tom Callaghan had to go off with a knee injury and Dale Slamen replaced him for a rare run out but his stature would help in the scrums, and ale came out for the second half determined to make a game of it. They were soon deep in the Douglas half and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which Coldman converted 12-3. It was all Dale now and a fantastic break by Duffy was passed wide and eventually reached Rob Wadsworth who streaked past the last defender to score in the corner the kick being brilliantly converted from the touchline by Coldman 12-10 game on.
The play was disrupted by lots of penalties one of which left Dale in a good position but the throw was a bit long and Chris Hodgkinson had the ball stolen in the air. A series of good passes saw the Douglas fly half who was their outstanding player receive the ball in midfield and dodge several tackles to score under the posts converted 19-10.
This was a big blow to Dale who had been more than holding their own and Blair Henry was unlucky to have been judged in front of the kicker when James Duffy found him clear on the wing with only the full back to beat. On 70 mins Harry Hill was subbed and in an incident were Chris Hodgkinson tackled from an offside position the ref decided a yellow card was justified and he took no further part. Brave defence from 14 man Dale saw Flitcroft clear from under his own posts and break through early tackles but stopped on half way. Douglas clearly new they had been in a game and try as they might they found no way through the stubborn Dale defence. Finally with minutes to go Douglas got a penalty on half way and from the line out the ball went right across to the winger to score in the corner the kick went wide leaving the final score 24-10 which flattered the home side somewhat.
Dale’s performance again brought many favourable comments from home supporters and the 30 plus band of travelling fans.
Next week Warrington are the visitors for a 3pm kick off at Moorgate Ave .
David Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.