Tynedale go down at the death
Published at 09:40, Monday, 17 February 2014
TYNEDALE came within seconds of clawing their way out of the National League One relegation zone.
Looking great value for a maximum points victory over leaders Doncaster Knights, a top display throughout saw them led by two points at 80 minutes.
Instead, they had to content themselves with two bonus points as they conceded a third try deep into injury time despite their best efforts.
The 29-26 reversal was hard to take for the home side whose troops poured their all into giving their high flying visitors a torrid afternoon.
On a heavy pitch, it was Tynedale who settled into their stride early on and they took the lead on nine minutes through an unconverted try by man of the moment Ben Frankland.
But minutes after Dougie Flockhart sent over a penalty, Doncaster had the upper hand as Bruno Bravo picked up a loose ball to run in his side's first try of the afternoon.
Frankland struck again to regain the lead for the home side, sneaking undetected behind the rolling maul to run home unchallenged to leave Gavin Beasley with a straight forward conversion.
Doncaster, who were down to 14 men after losing skipper Matt Challinor to the sin bin, did reduce the arrears soon after courtesy of a second Flockhart pen.
Yet the margin was eight at the break as Tynedale's sublime scrummages brought about the awarding of a penalty try right on half time.
The hosts had to withstand heavy pressure as the league's frontrunners came racing out of the blocks and they dealt well with everything thrown at them.
So it was hugely disappointing when they allowed centre Mat Clark to skip through to add to Flockhart's two pens and put the guests ahead.
The pendulum continued to swing and it looked likely that Tyne had done enough for the win, going 26-24 in front on 75 minutes courtesy of another penalty try following more superb scrum work.
Despite having two men in the bin, Doncaster came knocking time and again but were met by strong resolve on every occasion.
But just as the game was to end, Michael Hills managed to find the smallest of gaps to jump through and deny Tynedale a famous victory.
*Full report in this week's Hexham Courant.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk