Mowden Park notched their first home win in style on Saturday with a bonus point victory over Old Elthamians. Garry Law’s side scored 4 tries in an impressive all round display, which sees them climb to joint 4th in the National One table after 7 rounds.
The opening quarter of the game was largely dominated by the visitors, who enjoyed the majority of the territory and possession. Old Elthamians opened the scoring on 4 minutes through prop Thomas Concu, who barged over from close range. Visiting fly half Tom White added the conversion, before adding a drop goal on 10 minutes to give OEs a 10 point lead. Mowden responded well however, and narrowed the deficit to 3 with Max Davies’ first league try for the club. Seals converted, and added a penalty minutes later to level the scores. OEs scored again through Adam Batt on 20 minutes, but that was their last points of the game as Mowden dominated the remaining 60 minutes. First Warren Seals added his second penalty of the game, before prop Ralph Appleby took advantage of a dominant driving maul to burrow over for his first try of the season. Seals’ conversion gave Mowden a 20-17 lead at half time.
The second 40 saw Mowden enjoy the lion’s share of the territory, with smart kicking from Seals and McKirdy pinning the visitors deep inside their own half. Seals added a penalty on 60 minutes, before an entertaining finale. First McKirdy topped off a strong performance with a try of his own, before Appleby crossed for his second to seal the 4 try bonus point. Appleby was awarded Man of the Match for an impressive display after coming off the bench.
Mowden Head Coach was pleased with his side’s opening home win of the season: “Saturday was a very good squad performance in what turned into very difficult conditions. We had a gameplan going into the match and to the lads credit they stuck to it for near enough the full 80 minutes and got the rewards at the end.”
A big feature of Saturday’s game was Mowden’s defensive display, and this was an area Law was keen to highlight: “There were some outstanding individual performances not just in attack but in defence also. This is currently probably the strongest part to our game and something the squad have really bought into and are driving from within. Across the board we are stressing if we can do the small things really well the rest will come, which is just what Saturday turned out to be.”
Mowden now face the long trip to newly promoted Canterbury, who are yet to win this season. Looking ahead to their upcoming run of fixtures, Law added: “Now that we have got the monkey off our back with the first home win, we are not looking to change any mindset and try to get ourselves on a little roll of wins.”
Saturday also saw a win for the club’s ladies side, the DMP Sharks. Justin Loveridge’s side ran out 5-26 winners at Richmond thanks to tries from Beth Blacklock, Lisa Thomson, Evie Tonkin and Lois Brown. The Sharks now welcome Worcester Warriors to the Arena on Saturday as they go in search of their third league win of the season.