National Leagues: Weekend Wrap

It was derby weekend in the national leagues and round two did not disappoint...

Coventry win derby day clash

Coventry underlined their National One promotion credentials with a huge victory at home over Birmingham Moseley in a derby day clash.

The 50-11 victory was Coventry’s second bonus-point win of the season and puts them at the top of the table as well as extending the side’s winning run to 10 league games. 

And while it is still too early to be picking promotion-hopefuls, Coventry’s director of rugby Rowland Winter will be pleased with what he saw. His side dominated in the forwards and scored eight tries including two from man-of-the-match James Stokes.

Coventry are joined at the top of the table by Darlington Mowden Park who continued their equally impressive start to the season with a 27-15 victory over Hull Ionians.

Tries from Simon Uzokwe, Ben Frankland, Chris Auld and Adam Radwan gave Darlington their second successive bonus-point win and kept Hull winless so far this season. 

Another derby day clash saw Blackheath record a 25-6 win over south-London rivals Rosslyn Park and keep up their winning run this season. 

Harry Bate got Blackheath off to the perfect start, driving over to score their first try with less than two minutes gone. Tries followed from Joe Tarrant and Freddie Owen to seal the win over Park. 

Ampthill, Plymouth, Bishop’s Stortford, Loughborough Students and Caldy also got a win under their belts over the weekend. 

Narrow margins in National Two North

It proved to be a tense weekend of fixtures in National Two North with five of the eight matches finishing with less than a 10 point winning margin. 

One of the closets of the bunch came at Wharfedale where a 73rd-minute try from Joe Rowntree gave Otley a last-gasp 17-14 victory. 

It was equally as close at Chester who held off a late surge from Macclesfield to hold out 25-22 winners. 

Sheffield Tigers won their first match of the season, beating Sheffield 22-18. A try from Pete Swatkins and penalty from Mark Ireland gave them an early lead before Henri Packard went over for a try of his own. 

Sheffield fought back and took the lead after a try from Jonny France but with seven minutes left on the clock, Tigers scrum half Ryan Jones crossed the line, with Ireland adding the extras to give them the win. 

Meanwhile the Leicester derby saw South Leicester beat the Lions 31-18, helped by 14 points from the boot of Rickie Aley as well as two tries from Adam Shaw. 

After two weeks, Tynedale and Stourbridge top the table after wins over Blaydon and Luctonians respectively.

Cinderford overwhelm Clifton 

The most stand-out performance from National Two South came from Gloucestershire where Cinderford scored nine tries to beat Clifton 57-5.

The hosts were dominant from the outset and it looks likely that Cinderford will be battling it out at the top of the table for the rest of the season having scored 96 points from their first two games.

Perhaps the shock result of the weekend came from Barnstaple who overcame Redruth 29-24 to record their second bonus-point win of the season.

Barnstaple narrowly missed relegation last season but look a different outfit in this campaign and put in an impressive performance to beat a Redruth side who had just beaten Old Redcliffians 58-10.

The closest game of the weekend came between Broadstreet and Bury St Edmunds with the latter taking a 20-3 lead before the hosts fought back to make it 16-20 with minutes remaining.

Bury’s defence held firm in the dying moments to secure the victory, their first of the season.

Meanwhile, newly-promoted Wimbledon are still in search of their first victory of the campaign, losing 31-15 to Worthing over the weekend. Worthing are one of four sides who have secured all 10 points from the first two rounds.