Rugby: Dursley not getting the bounce of the ball
7:02pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in Gloucestershire Sport
Dursley 0 Whitehall 27
DURSLEY remain one place off the foot of the table heading into the Christmas break after suffering a home defeat against Whitehall.
The blustery conditions hindered both teams, but throughout the match the ball never bounced well for Dursley.
With a scrappy start to the match and neither team venturing into the opposition 22 it was Whitehall who had the first chance with a penalty that they chose to kick to the corner.
From the resulting lineout the Dursley defence held strong on their own line.
With 14 minutes gone Whitehall put the first points on the board from a penalty just inside the 22 and in front of the posts making for an easy three points.
The young front row of Andy Plumridge, George Salter and Danny Morgan held up well against their bigger and more experienced opposition.
An Injury to Salter did little to help the balance of the squad and, despite good tackling by Olli Steel and Josh Bailey along with good support from Simon Camm, A J Caddick and Dave Sheldon, Whitehall continued to put pressure on.
A break by full back James Sheldon was thwarted mid -stream and the varied game by scrum half Joe McGough gave Dursley options.
Despite the strong wind, the Dursley lineout worked well and the forwards challenged to keep the Whithall backs at bay.
Twenty-five minutes in Whitehall scored a soft try from the back of a five metre scrum which was converted, extending their lead to 10-0.
Whitehall continued to batter the Dursley defence and with seven minutes left in the half their winger took a lovely line to score under the post for an easy conversion.
In the dying minutes of the half missed tackles were to blame for another Whitehall score, bringing the half-time score to 0-22.
The second half started with Dursley playing with the wind and despite fly half Grant Boucher’s attempts to use the space behind the Whitehall defence their efforts came to nothing.
The Dursley injury curse continued with scrum half Aaron Lennard and No 8 Tom Stevens leaving the field and, having used all of their subs, Camm played on with a dead leg.
Strong runs by Jake Martin, Jack Rowe, Sam Porter and Scott Udal pinned Whitehall in their own half but Dursley were unable to convert their efforts into points. A mistake in their own try scoring zone led to a fourth Whitehall try, which was unconverted.
With the scrum working well, Dursley were on the front foot with Jake Martin crossing the line with five minutes left to play but the try was held up.
Dursley continued to battle until the end but could do little to change the final result.
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