Gritty All Blacks miss out at the end

IN a very robust and competitively-played game, Stewarts and Lloyds emerged the winners with a scoreline that did little justice to Daventry’s performance.

From the kick-off Daventry displayed their commitment driving in hard at the Stewarts and Lloyds’ pack.

Stewarts and Lloyds showed their strength in the forwards and scored an unconverted try after four minutes of play.

From the resulting kick off, Daventry put pressure on Stewarts and Lloyds and with sheer determination forced them on the defensive for long periods.

From a line-out good ball was won, distributed quickly into the backs to allow Luke Jones to slice through the opposition’s defence and score what turned out to be the best try of the game.

James Heath converted to give Daventry a 7-5 lead.

Maintaining attacking momentum, Daventry kept Stewarts and Lloyds on the back foot and extended their lead to 13-5 with two James Heath penalties – one kicked from the half-way line.

On the stroke of half-time, S and L broke out of their half and scored a try against the run of play to narrow the Daventry lead to 13-12.

From the restart, second row Aaron Keegan playing a very solid game, took a nasty injury to his knee and had to be replaced.

Stewarts and Lloyds’ heavier and very experienced forwards began to dominate scrummages. But Daventry’s commitment ensured the scoreline was kept down.

Further injuries to players, including skipper Adam Whitehead, disrupted Daventry’s momentum.

But the replacements proved their ability allowing Daventry to come back into the game in the last five minutes getting their reward with a well-deserved try by James Heath.

For Daventry the forward effort was immense with ex-skipper and hooker Jason Cooper making a welcome return to the first team after long injury lay-off.

Shannon Thompson proved his worth at tight head against probably the best loose head in the league.

After the match, coach Toby Johnson said: “I was pleased with our commitment and effort, disappointed with the result but impressed by the attitude of our players and the efforts of our replacements.”

James Heath was man of the match. Next Daventry are home in the league in a derby match against Long Buckby.