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DK 35 Westoe 33
10:03am Monday 18th February 2013 in Dudley Kingswinford RFC
DUDLEY Kingswinford survived a second half comeback to claim a vital win against Westoe.
Visiting kicker Nathan Horsfall missed a last-gasp conversion which would have squared the game following Lome Faatau’s try.
The miss saw DK, who played for 60 minutes with just 14 men after loose head Rich Kelley was controversially sent off, hang on to a win which goes a long way to preserving their National League Two North status.
DK made a flying start, scoring the opening try after just three minutes through Stefan Shillingford. But the visitors hit back almost immediately with a converted try of their own by centre Gareth Roberts and after two Gareth Bown penalties had restored the hosts’ advantage, a Scott Powell score saw the momentum swing once more as Westoe claimed a 14-13 lead.
DK suffered a further blow on 20 minutes when Kelley was giving his marching orders for retaliation.
But the loss of such a crucial player only served to spur them on and a fine three-quarter move on the half-hour saw Matt Humphries set up Matt Farrington for try which restored their lead.
Ben Connett then crossed three minutes before half-time as the hosts lead 25-14 at the break.
The advantage was further extended just three minutes into the second half thanks to a superb second try for Farrington. Bown’s conversion made it 32-14.
Gradually the extra work being done by DK’s overworked pack began to take its toll and and Westoe flanker Rob Adair drove over on 48 minutes as the visitors began a fightback.
Faatau then scored out wide and Matt Mellish nailed a tough conversion to reduce the gap to just four points.
Bown struck what proved to be the vital penalty on 64 minutes and DK blew a golden chance to make the game safe five minutes from time when a forward pass denied Shillingford a second try.
It looked like coming back to haunt them when Faatau crossed again deep into stoppage time but Horsfall’s conversion drifted wide.