GLOUCESTERSHIRE ALL GOLDS 04 – 42 DONCASTER
Image by Alison Fallon
Doncaster eased to a comfortable victory over the Gloucestershire All Golds whose faint hopes of a top eight finish were ended by a dominant South Yorkshire outfit.
The All Golds were injury hit after their trip to Toronto and battled to put together a reasonably fit 17 for the game.
Chasing fourth place, the Dons clearly won the first half battle of attrition with much of the first period played in the All Golds half. But the defensive resolve that was on show at Lamport Stadium last week was on show again as attack after attack was repelled and there was just one try on the board at the end of the first forty minutes.
Time and again, the All Golds were pinned back by Jack Millar’s kicking game with the Dons happy to apply pressure and wait for the cracks to appear. But with the All Golds’ back three resolute and goal-line defence solid, the Dons’ pressure resulted in plenty of possession but little reward.
The only try of the first half came after 25 minutes’ play. Jack Miller’s kick to the corner was taken dead under pressure by Chris Barlow. From the next set, substitute Mark Castle powered over for the try, Miller adding the first of his seven goals.
“We weren’t very smart in the first half,” said All Golds coach Lee Greenwood. “We had to work overtime to keep them from scoring.
“It was hugely disappointing that 6-0 behind at half time we didn’t make a better fist of the second half.”
The second half opened with Doncaster upping the intensity and once they had crossed twice in the opening ten minutes, life became much easier for them.
The All Golds had the ball in hand just four times in the opening 15 minutes of the second period but were unable to fashion anything like a scoring position as the visitors remained in the ascendancy.
The Dons doubled their lead in the third minute of the half, Iafeta Paleaaesina crashing over after Castle had been held up by the defence.
Jordie Hedges’ 40-20 eight minutes later set up the position for Sam Doherty to go over on the second tackle and make it 18-0.
Doherty was in again four minutes later, easily shrugging off Barlow’s tackle after the Dons had earned a repeat set from a deflected kick.
A desperate last-ditch tackle from Kadeem Williams forced an error from Miller after Paleaaesina’s offload had opened the gap but the next score only arrived with 14 minutes left. Danny Fallon’s pass was picked off by Hedges, and though he was tackled short, Reece Dean scored from the next play with the defence struggling to regroup.
Brad England then scored from a scrum won by Jack Mitchell’s slide into touch fielding a chip through from Miller before Dean went in under the posts after backing up Ryan Wright’s break.
The All Golds earned a consolation try with five minutes left, Mo Agoro adding to his try tally after collecting Shaun Owens’ kick to the corner and wrestling his way over the line.
The result leaves the Dons in fifth while the All Golds at least finish in the top half of the League 1 Shield table.
Greenwood said: “We’re nowhere near being able to play the top northern teams. The effort is there but there’s a huge gulf in quality there as well.
“We will play teams of a similar quality to us. It won’t be easy, but it should help.”
ALL GOLDS: Jack Mitchell; Mo Agoro, Kadeem Williams, Lewis Reece, Chris Barlow; Shaun Owens, Danny Fallon; James Walter, Steve Parry, Harrison Elliott; Chris Worrall, Joe McClean; Billy Brickhill; Subs (All used): Errol Carter, Ollie Purslow, Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, Richard Jones
Tries: Agoro (75)
Goals: Mitchell 0 from 1
DONCASTER: Reece Dean; Sam Doherty, Liam Welham, Aaron Jones-Bishop, Louis Sherriff; Jordie Hedges, Jack Miller; Makali Aizue, Ryan Wright, Jamie Thackray; Brad England, Charlie Martin; Peter Green; Subs (All used): Mark Castle, Kieran Cross, Mike Kelly, Iafeta Paleaaesina
Tries: Castle (25), Paleaaesina (42), Doherty (50, 54), Dean (66, 72), England (70)
Goals: Jack Miller 7 from 7
0-6, 0-12, 0-18, 0-24, 0-30, 0-36, 0-42, 4-42
All Golds Man of the Match: Kadeem Williams
Penalty count: 3-10
Referee: Callum Straw