Brady claims treble as fine form continues

Ovenden 48

Eastmoor Dragons 12.

Ovenden’s team performance failed to match that of the previous week in the cup giant-killing against Skirlaugh but glimpses of individual skill took them to within two points of their second successive half-century.

The home side dominated for the first 20 minutes of this Conference Division Two game but failed to take advantage until good work by Gareth Jones and Hamish Barnes set up Matt Turner to break two tackles to open the scoring after seven minutes.

Ovenden continued to press with the visitors camped in their own 22 with the same combination of Jones and Turner sending Ryan Barnes to the line only for the referee to rule the ball had not been grounded.

Eastmoor held their own under the continuous pressure until Luke Sutcliffe dodged from acting half-back to move the ball out to Hamish Barnes to make it 10-0.

Eastmoor finally set foot in the home half but good defensive work by Jason Dodd and Luke Sandland snuffed them out.

Ovenden’s impressive debutant Nick Cassell went close after a strong run and Ryan Barnes had a score disallowed by referee Robert Webb.

Eastmoor pressed in a rare excursion and two cheap penalties near the home line were rewarded when Greg Wilby scored and Adrian Mulchahy converted.

Eastmoor were unable to sustain their pressure and it was not long before steady progress by Turner, and Hartley locked Eastmoor in their 22. A quick play the ball by Luke Sutcliffe took advantage of a disorganised defence and quick hands to Jason Dodd and a Chris Hartley off-load put Hamish Barnes clear for a 14-6 half time lead.

Eastmoor started the second half the stronger with Walker failing to ground the ball in the corner.

Luke O’Mara and Jason Dodd relieved the pressure with strong running from deep and a Pete Williams drive put Jones clear and his well-timed pass sent Niall Brady speeding to the line. Hartley converted.

Dodd’s jinking break saw him clear from his own line. Matty Short took the ball forward with an elusive run before Hartley and Jones sent Luke Sandland clear for the line and his deft inside pass sent Brady over for his second try.

Ovenden’s best spell of the game was interrupted by a valiant counter attack by the visitors, helped by a series of Ovenden mistakes on their own line. Eastmoor took full advantage with Gary Wilby crossing for Mulcahy to convert.

The home side dispelled any hint of complacency with a closing spell of four tries and three conversions which wrecked any hope of an Eastmoor revival.

Outstanding work by Short saw him score the best try of the game and even a 60 yard break by Eastmoor failed to interrupt Ovenden’s finish with O’Mara’s try-saving tackle halting winger Simon Roberts a metre from the line.

Dodd cleared with a 30 yard dash and full-back Brady sped 50 yards for his hat-trick. Hartley kicked his sixth conversion.

The resilient Dragons finished the game as they started, under pressure, with Jones’s cut-out pass sending James Dodd over from 40 yards his second try on the final whistle.