Argon Technologies Douglas Rugby Club continued their excellent start to life in South Lancs/Cheshire Division 1 with a 13 - 10 win away at Hoylake on saturday.
The game started at a ferocious pace with Hoylake pinning Douglas deep in their own 22 and were battering the Douglas line but once again Douglas stood firm and the strategy of brute force wasnt working for the hosts and they ignored overlaps on a couple of occasions a decision which ultimately proved costly.
Douglas opened the scoring on the 15 minute mark with a penalty from Bryn Snellgrove and soon after Hoylake cam crashing back into the Douglas 22 and replied with a penalty of their own. This fired the Douglas side up and the forwards began to make inroads the back row of Craig McGee, Lance Wyllie and Stephen Tansell were making menaces of themselves and when Tansell put in a big hit on the Hoylake centre, sending him off injured and Douglas sensed that they were in with a shout.
The scrum began to pay dividends and Hoylake were being pushed around by the much smaller Douglas pack and after Stephen Tansell had been held up twice over the line the power was put on and Douglas shoved them over the line but couldnt get the ball down and eventually the Hoylake second rower earned a yellow card for his troubles. Hoylake pulled in the winger to sit on the flank to have a full 8 against Douglas but the front row buckled under the Douglas pressure and when they popped up a penalty try was awarded and converted, the half time score was 10 - 3 to Douglas.
The second half began at the same pace as the first with both teams cancelling each other out in the middle of the park, evtually Hoylake committed a penalty on half way and again Snellgrove punished them for their indiscretions.
Hoylake now began to force their way back into the game and were pushing Douglas hard and the last 10 minutes of the match Douglas found themselves depp in their 22 defending manfully but eventually the pressure told and Hoylake forced their way over the line. This made for a thrilling final 2 minutes of the match with Hoylake throwing the kitchen sink at Douglas but not making much ground. They were picking up and popping to the forwards, eventually their abrasive number 7 was on his own and when he was chopped down the ball was pounced on and he was pinged for holding on and this allowed Douglas to kick for touch and the referee blew the whistle.
This was by far the best performance by this young Douglas side in recent memory and when the Hoylake coach commented that this is the first time he has witnessed his pack be shoved around in the last 10 years it became obvious that Douglas are more than capable in this league and will provide firm opposition to anyone.