Rugby: Dursley's hopes of escaping relegation boosted after Brooks scores winning penalty
11:58am Wednesday 26th February 2014 in Gloucestershire Sport
Dursley 15 Gordon League 13
DURSLEY kept their survival hopes alive by picking up their first win since November against Gordon League.
The squad is still plagued by injuries but the return of several old heads boosted the ranks.
Dursley made a confident start and with just three minutes gone were awarded a penalty 35 metres out in front of the posts, which full back Dan Brooks was unlucky to push wide in the strong wind.
Flanker Olli Steel was on fire at the breakdown, making ball retention difficult for the opposition.
Centre Jack Rowe and returning experienced second row Mark Perry made good yards with several strong runs and some excellent tackling by fly half Tom Broomfield closed down breaks by Gordon League.
A committed chase up the wing by centre James Sheldon, supported by winger Dave Sheldon, secured territory, and with 13 minutes gone and from a much improved lineout on the five metre line, the Dursley forward pack of Jake Martin, Simon Camm, Paul Winterbottom, Scott Udal, Perry, Harry Lea, Steel and Jack Robson drove over in the corner, ably shepherded by scrum half Aaron Lennard, with flanker Lea touching down.
Brooks' conversion from the touchline was just wide of the posts.
Dursley were unfortunate not to add another try when the ball was touched down but called back for a previous infringement.
Hooker Camm showed little thought for his own safety as he heroically threw himself on any loose ball.
Midway through the first half saw the return of prop Darren Noble, adding weight and experience to the front row and solidarity to the scrum in difficult conditions.
As the half drew to a close, Dursley missed out on a further try scoring opportunity after a hack through was just too long for the chasing backs, leaving the score 5-0.
With the team working well no changes were made at half-time and the first came after ten minutes with Joe McGough coming on at scrum half for Lennard. The next five minutes saw Gordon League awarded two penalties, which were kicked to give them a 6-5 lead.
Dursley upped the tempo with No 8 Jake Martin bumping off several tacklers and hard work by the forward pack to steadily pick and drive to the line was rewarded by a try from Martin with Brooks adding the conversion to put Dursley back ahead at 12-6.
Gordon League fought back and five minutes later regained the lead with a push over scrum under the posts, with the try converted.
With 10 minutes left to play Perry was replaced by Rich Brooks and Jack Robson for Harry Lea.
As play resumed Dursley were awarded a penalty 30 metres out in front of the posts, which Brooks slotted through the middle to regain the lead.
Dursley continued to defend strongly against some desperate play from Gordon League with some good cover by winger Josh Bailey and a well won turnover by Broomfield in the closing minutes allowed Dursley possession until the end of the game.