Sedgley Tigers show grit despite defeat at Darlington

Sedgley Park's Matt Riley

Sedgley Park's Matt Riley

First published in Sport by , Sports writer/sub-editor

SEDGLEY Tigers coach, Geoff Roberts was full of praise for his side’s ‘exceptional’ performance despite a narrow 17-13 defeat at second-placed Darlington Mowden Park in National League Two North.

The Tigers, who remain in fourth position in the league – five points ahead of nearest rivals, Chester – have lost four games on the bounce, winning just two so far this year.

However, Roberts could not fault the Tigers’ gritty and determined display against high-flying DMP on Saturday, in a match where they had the chances to win.

He said: “The boys put in a tremendous performance.

“It [the game] was everything it was billed to be. “Both defences were fantastic, both teams played an expansive game and both sides threw a lot at each other.

“It was a decent wide pitch and the ball was thrown around a lot, with the players testing one another out wide on the wings. “We did have one massive opportunity to win the game prior to their second half try. “We battered their line but lost the ball after quite a lot of phases, so that was a bit unfortunate. “Although, having said that, they did batter our line at times as well.”

In a high-tempo game it was captain, Cameron Mitchell, who gave Darlington an early 7-0 lead with a try in the 11th minute, which was converted by Maxwell Connon.

Five minutes later, Matt Riley went over for a try for the Tigers, with Steve Collins adding the extras to make it 7-7.

The Tigers took the lead in the 25th minute with a Collins penalty, only for DMP to equalise with a Connon effort.

On the stroke of half time, the Tigers were awarded another penalty, which Collins converted, to give the visitors a 13-10 lead at the break.

However, on 62 minutes, DMP scored a converted try which was to be the only score in the second half, to win the match 17-13.

Two of the Tigers players were sin-binned during the game with Billy Emerson receiving a yellow card for a high tackle, and Johnny Mathews, for allegedly pulling down a maul in the second period.

Darlington, however, were unable to capitalise despite the extra man.

Roberts said: “They didn’t get any scores during the yellow card periods, but with the game being so expansive we really had to work hard.

“So it was a little bit energy-sapping from our point of view.”

“It was a really exciting game and we were complimented a lot at the end.”

Sedgley host Hull RUFC on Saturday, kick off 2.30pm.

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