National Leagues: Weekend wrap up

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From last-minute wins to relegation scraps, here is all the news from round 18 in the national leagues.

Coventry gain revenge 

It has been a long four months for Coventry who have been waiting since September to gain revenge on National One rivals Blackheath. 

A 42-5 defeat to the London side early on in the season was described as ‘embarrassing’ by Coventry’s Director of Rugby Rowland Winter at the time but his side restored some pride in the Saturday’s rematch. 

The midlands team ran out 39-3 winners in an impressive performance led by Cliffie Hodgson making his 100th appearance. 

Blackheath were on the back foot after 30 minutes when Greg Gillanders was red carded, with Coventry going on to score six tries and move up to sixth in the league. 

Fylde were able to pick up a losing bonus point in their 57-31 home defeat to league leaders Hartpury College. 

The match looked set to go down to the wire with fifteen minutes left on the clock as the visitors led by just seven points but Hartpury showed why they have yet to lose this season, scoring three tries late on. 

Scrum-half Ben Vellacott, who recently made his Premiership debut for Gloucester, scored four tries for Hartpury who have now won 18 successive matches. 

Bad weather caused several games to be postponed meaning the crucial relegation scrap match between Macclesfield and Hull Ionians will have to wait.  

Crucial win for Harrogate 

Saturday’s thrilling home win over Luctonians may well be the turning point for Harrogate who move out of the relegation places for the first time this season. 

The home side, captained by David Doherty, held out for a 26-24 win to bring them to twelfth in National Two North and will give themselves further breathing space should they beat Sheffield Tigers on Saturday who sit in fifteenth spot. 

The Tigers lost out 32-17 to Leicester Lions with tries from Jamel Hamilton, Joe Newton-Taylor, Sam Benjamin and two from Devon Constant keeping the Lions within touching distance of the top three teams. 

Caldy’s lead at the helm now stands at 10 points after a bonus point win against Preston Grasshoppers. The 57-17 victory was their sixteenth win from 18 matches. 

Bishop’s turn to Banks 

A penalty kick from Bishop’s Stortford’s Tom Banks in the last minute of the game gave his side a huge win over promotion rivals Old Elthamians. 

Hosts Old Elthamians led 14-13 when the vistors were awarded a penalty for an infringement at the breakdown. Banks duly stepped up and slotted the kick from 35 metres out and in doing so put his side to the top of National Two South. 

Redruth’s fine run of form continued on Saturday as they beat Redingensians 28-14 to leave them just five points away from Chinnor who remain in third spot after scraping past Barnstaple 17-15. 

Cinderford continued their run of impressive wins following last week’s victory over Bishop’s Stortford by hammering Worthing 53-18.  

Meanwhile Barnes earned valuable points in their win over local rivals London Irish Wild Geese. Both teams occupy spots in the bottom five but a 26-16 home victory for Barnes lifts them slightly clear of the relegation places. 

 

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