Doncaster Knights in Pole for Promotion

SSE National League One Round 29 Review

Last Updated: Apr 15, 2014 05:57pm
Town Moor, Doncaster
By Nicol McClelland
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Doncaster remain in pole position to win the SSE National League One title and promotion back to the Greene King IPA Championship after coming from behind to beat Coventry in a dramatic finale at the Butts Park Arena.

Trailing 17-11 as the game headed into stoppage time, Doncaster held their nerve to score under the posts through Ross Davies with Dougie Flockhart adding the simplest of conversions to edge them in front. There was still time for Coventry to mount one last effort, but Cliffie Hodgson scuffed his drop goal attempt with what proved to be the final act of the game.
The Knights travel to Blackheath on Saturday knowing that three points or more would guarantee them Championship rugby next season, as they are three points clear of second-placed Rosslyn Park who entertain a Cinderford side still scrapping for survival. Park maintained the pressure on Doncaster at the top of the table by taking the expected five points from their trip to basement side Hull Ionians. Wing Tom Howe starred with four tries as Park won 60-12.
Worthing's short-lived stay in National One is over after a 33-20 defeat away to Old Albanian confirmed the Sussex side's relegation. After an evenly-contested first hour the game turned on its head when Charlie McGowan was yellow carded and Old A's scored two converted tries in his absence.
The remaining relegation place may not be decided until the first week of May when Cinderford, who are currently in 14th place, are due to play their final rearranged game of the season against Wharfedale at Dockham Road. Before then the Forresters travel to Old Albanian and Rosslyn Park. The try bonus point they got for scoring five tries in Saturday's 46-32 home defeat to Esher was not enough to keep Cinderford out of the drop zone because Henley crucially won at home to Loughborough Students – another of the side's still in trouble – to leapfrog the Forresters in the table.
The Hawks are one point better off than Cinderford but only have one game remaining –away to Tynedale, who are still not technically safe following a 49-21 hammering at the hands of Richmond in London. The north-easterners need one point to be absolutely certain of their place in the division next season.
Blaydon could yet steal fourth place from Fylde after a 15-14 win over the Lancastrians left them three points in arrears of their rivals, while Wharfedale's barren run at home continued with a 24-19 defeat against Blackheath.

Round 29 results, Saturday April 12
Blaydon 15 Fylde 14
Cinderford 32 Esher 46
Coventry 17 Doncaster 18
Henley 22 Loughborough Students 11
Hull Ionians 12 Rosslyn Park 60
Old Albanian 33 Worthing 20
Richmond 49 Tynedale 21
Wharfedale 19 Blackheath 24


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