September 27th, 2016

Ryan Hough brace seals Coventry win over Darlington in front of bumper crowd

RUGBY UNION: A SPIRITED Coventry performance in front of a bumper home crowd of just over 1,000 saw the Butts Park Arena men comfortably dispatch sixth-placed Darlington Mowden Park 27-10 to maintain their excellent end of season form in National League One.

Despite the lure of Wasps playing in a European Cup quarter-final, an excellent home support watched Coventry come from behind to secure a third consecutive win.

The early signs suggested that the hosts were in for a tough afternoon after Darlington fly half Warren Seals opened up the Coventry defence on seven minutes which allowed winger Peter Homan to run in with ease and Seals converted for 7-0.

The experienced northern pack were causing problems in the set pieces and the omens did not look good, but then on 20 minutes came a real statement from the Coventry forwards.

After Matt Jones had given his side a real footing in the visiting 22,  a piece of superb controlled driving from fully 20 metres out saw the referee award a penalty try after Darlington had infringed and prop forward Fearn was yellow carded for his role in the build up. Caolan Ryan converted with ease to level to score.

Over the next 13 minutes Ryan and Seals traded successful penalties before just on half-time Coventry struck again.

Although Matt Price by this time had received a yellow, a fine counter move saw Ryan Hough plunge over with Ryan converting superbly to give the hosts a seven point lead at the break.

It could have been more after Rob Knox made a 45-metre burst before switching the play to Ryan who appeared to cross the line but the refereee deemed that the pall had been passed forward.

Ryan was enjoying one of his best performances and on 53 minutes he increased Coventry’s lead to 20-10 with another penalty as the home side continued to chalk up the points.

Another excellent move saw winger Hough slip inside for his second try with subsequent man of the match Ryan landing another hammer bloe conversion.

There was to be plenty more excitement for the crowd in the remaining 25 minutes with 11 minutes of added on time but no further additions to the score.

Replacement Tom Poole received yellow for what was deemed a deliberate trip but whatever Darlington were able throw at them, Coventry repelled to record a victory that will lift spirits in the camp following a disappointing season.

This Saturday Coventry head to Blackheath looking to make it four wins out of four.

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