|1st XV Report - Sat 16th Feb 2008 v Daventry
Wellingborough were always aware that they needed to win this game well to keep the momentum going and increase the points difference on their rivals at the top of the league. They started off at a blistering pace, storming up the field from the kick off, setting up 2nd phase ball and putting Craig Hughes over under the posts all within 2 minutes. No sooner than the conversion was taken they were back up inside the Daventry 22 again, this time after a charging run from Matt Birke. The chance went begging but it wasn't to matter much because within 10 minutes they were back again and this time a long pass found Chris Mears who fed Dominic Smart to touch down for another 5 points. Very soon afterwards Joe Marston got on the end of a move and produced his now familiar step to beat the cover and touch down.
It looked as if the home side was going to have a field day but Daventry had other ideas and came back strongly. They were rewarded with a penalty for killing the ball in a ruck and duly converted it. However Wellingborough were keen to press on and after a good line-out drive they were held up over the try line only to recycle the ball and set the backs up for Joe Marston to finish off again in the corner. A couple of minutes later Chris Mears came into the line in midfield on a great line and carried the ball almost all the way. He off loaded to Dominic Smart who was stopped short but managed to recycle it and the backs again fed Joe Marston who completed his hatrick closer infield to give Pete Vickers a chance with the conversion. This brought the score to 29-3 at half time.
There ensued a period of utter frustration from the home sides point of view. Their finishing was nowhere near as clinical now and Daventry were having a good spell. They replied with a penalty early in the half and it was another 25 minutes before Wellingborough scored again. This time it was a clever switch from the base of the scrum by John Cartwright that sent the backs off into open space. Steven Gall gratefully accepted the space and dummied through to set Dominic Smart up for his second try which was converted by Pete Vickers.
This seemed to settle the home sides frustration a little and was helped by Joe Marston coming in off his wing a few minutes later to make a searing break and go in under the posts for his fourth try. However Daventry were to have the last word. They took advantage of some poor tackling and lack of shape in the home defence in the last 10 minutes to score two tries, one converted.
It's a measure of how far Wellingborough have come this season as there was obvious disappointment over their second half display event though they'd still won the game by a comfortable margin.
Higgins Man of the Match: John Cartwright