Saturday, September 23, 2017 saw the Dragons of Doylestown hosting the Roses of Lancaster.
The heat was beating down, like very few September days, as the temperature climbed close to the 90s. A second delayed kick off in two weeks meant the Dragons had to prepare properly and be sure they didn’t come out as flat as they had the week before.
After an unfortunate handling error after the kickoff, the Dragons were quickly dealing with a goal line stand directly under their posts. The defense was up to the challenge and found touch to relieve the pressure. Roses tried to go quick off the lineup but were stuffed immediately by multiple Dragons. The pressure was clearly coming and Lancaster was looking a bit suspect in the face of the rush defense as many of their phases lost considerable yardage.
The pressure paid off rather quickly as the middle of the field opened up for a beautiful piercing cut by Steve Kornock which led to an offload to the streaking tighthead, Matt Frederick, who touched it down between the posts at the 6 minute mark. After a series of penalties the Roses managed to touch down to tie it up at 7-7 after 10 minutes.
The next score came by way of a patented Kevin Hockings break. His strong running skills have proved a huge attribute for the Dragons game in and game out and he took the Matt Frederick pass 50 meters for the try leaving multiple defenders in his wake.
The play moved its way back down the the Dragons half and again it was penalties that bit them in the foot, albeit ones that were born out of good aggressive play. Nevertheless the men of Doylestown knew they had to clean things up. PK successful by Roses.
The rest of the half belonged the Dragons. Having had weak endings to the first half in previous weeks it was imperative that they maintain their defense in critical times. The work put in on this front paid off and great defense led to strikes from the lethal offense. In this period of the game trys were scored by Kevin Reilly Jr., Scott Neff, and Michael Bondar.
Dylan Hamilton slotted 2/3 of the conversions and the halftime score sat at 31-10. Another dominant half for Doylestown Rugby.
Within a few minutes of the opening whistle Doylestown flanker, Dylan Pellegrino was called for the penalty and shown yellow though the impact seemed more incidental than anything. Nevertheless the Dragons were going to have to play tough to stay even.
Thankfully this wasn’t a problem. Scoring in the second half started off after more than ten minutes when impact substitute Mike Acker danced down the sideline and offloaded back inside to Dave Kornock for the try.
The last 30 minutes of the game were back and forth. Both teams were feeling the extreme heat and defenses started to open up a bit. Two trys were scored by either team as the game wound down and when the whistle blew the score was 50-22 for another Dragons victory. The final two trys were scored by Kevin Hockings and Mike Acker.
Your Doylestown Man of the Match was Inside Center Steve Kornock
Next weekend Doylestown take on Lehigh Valley on the road. Wish your Dragons luck!