10:49am Thursday 28th November 2013
DUDLEY Kingswinford defied the odds and were desperately unlucky to lose out 35-12 at powerful Preston Grasshoppers.
Having suffered some frightful hammerings this season, the DK's shocked their hosts by remaining in contention right up until the final few minutes.
It could have been even better for DKs who trailed Preston 14-12 going into the final quarter when a pivotal moment arrived.
Preston had struck with first half tries from second row Andrew Irving and centre John Ward, b oth of which were converted by fly half Lewis Allen.
But the DK's responded with four penalties, three from fly half Kieran Pinches, whop also missed a couple of shots at goal for good measure, while inside centre Gareth Bown landed another.
With DK's growing in confidence, Shaun Perry's men suffered a great injustice when winger Ashley Oyekan, on loan from Stourbridge, sprinted down the left flank and although tackled, appeared to plant the ball over the try-line.
But neither the referee or touch judge could verify whether the ball had been touched down, disallowed the try, which was a travesty for DK's.
With 14 minutes remaining, Preston produced a third try following a rolling maul when flanker Will Leers grounded and with Allen's conversion made the score 21-12.
Two minutes from time, Preston plundered a bonus point try through outside centre Phil Baines.
And it was Baines who secured a fifth Preston try from the final play of the game, Allen converting both.
Three were plenty of positive's to take from the game, especiaqlly the performance by full back Ben Brown who made a highly successful debut.
However, DK's have lost the service of scrum half Jordan Brookes who has joined top of the table Macclesfield.
Joint-coach and back row player Pete Knight admitted: "It was a shame we didn't get something out of the Preston game, because we deserved to.
"We sat down with the lads before the game and insisted that things had to change. We all play for the enjoyment and we wanted to start enjoying our rugby again.
"There's no pressure on us now, because everyone expects us to go down.
"But we've targeted this Saturday's game at home to Sheffield Tigers, who sit just above us in the league as the game to get our first win.
"Winning becomes a habit, just like losing, but this really represents a game where we can get that monkey off our back and register our first win. It just a case of everything clicking together".
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