Dartmouth entertained  Paignton on Saturday at Norton Field in their penultimate league game of the season, writes Dick Evans.

With a couple of key players not available for this fixture, Darts faced a different Paignton team with a huge pack of forwards especially their second  row, who were exceptionally tall .

The home side could not just find their rhythm and stride in this encounter and the game was disrupted by  large amounts of penalties  awarded against both sides.

The home side were lucky that the visitors did not have a decent kicker in their team, as Darts gave away two early kickable penalties , which sailed wide of the posts.

However, on 24 minutes pressure from the Paignton pack saw them score a converted try under the posts.

Darts back row John Dingle and 2nd row Aaran Watkins  tried to motivate their team with penetrating  runs up field, but on occasions  they found themselves isolated after the Paignton defence held firm.

Darts replied on 38 minutes when back row Lewis Sharam broke from a lineout and scored close to the posts from 10 mtrs out. Sam Churchill converted 7-7.

Captain Karl Caunter was unlucky on 40 minutes, when Paignton tried to clear their line. He charged down the clearance kick and followed up only for the referee to deem that the ball had been  knocked on.

The penalty count continued into the second half.

Karl Caunter made one of his Individual  weaving runs through the Paignton defence to go over under the posts. However, the referee said that the ball had been held up and the try was disallowed. 

It was now the turn of Paignton to be penalised for infringements and Sam Churchill was on hand to  add two  penalties  giving the home side a slender lead of 13-7.

The scrums were fairly even but slow release by Dartmouth gave the visitors time to  stretch their defence across the field to snuffle out any attacks.

The try of the game was scored by Dartmouth's Lewis Sharam who received the ball on the half way line. He put his head down and sprinted like a young gazelle,  brushing tackles away to score an excellent individual try.

Back came the visitors and with Darts defence in array, they ran the ball from half way. Missed tackles by Darts allowed  Paignton's centre to score a converted try right on the final whistle. 

Dartmouth Team Manager Andrew Tomkinson said after the game: ‘ It was a frustrating game to watch and we were nowhere near our best.

‘Paignton came with an experienced pack and tried to spoil  the party. But we did just enough to win the game, if nothing more.

The final score was Dartmouth RFC  23 Paignton RFC 2nd XV 17

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Dartmouth RFC  23 Paignton RFC 2nd XV 17 (Tindle)