Express & Star

Second-half capitulation sees DK crash to bottom

A catastrophic second half showing from Dudley Kingswinford condemned them to a 50-20 defeat at Hinckley in National Two West.


Despite taking a slender 20-17 lead into half-time, DK conceded 33 unanswered points after the break on their way to a loss that makes them favourites for relegation into the regional divisions.

Relegation rivals Newport Salop moved off the foot of the table with a win thanks to their win over Redruth, leaving DK rooted to the bottom of the league and ruing their poor second half display.

Frederick Morgan’s fourth-minute penalty got the visitors off to a good start, and they built on it with three well-worked tries.

Ryan Smitherman was the first DK player to cross the try line successfully, putting his side 8-7 ahead after 17 minutes.

George Bennett extended the lead with a try of his own after 26 minutes, and Morgan kicked the conversion to move the visitors 15-7 ahead. When James Ryan put them 20-12 up with seconds to go in the first half there was hope that a hugely significant win was on the cards for DK.

However, Hinckley snuck a try before the break, and took the lead almost immediately after the restart as the cracks started to show in a shell-shocked Dudley defensive pack. And the hosts capitalised further, netting four more tries to complete a convincing victory, and one that had looked unlikely less than an hour previously.

In Regional One Midlands, Stourbridge remain within touching distance of league-leaders Oxford Harlequins after a 31-28 home win over third-placed Bromsgrove.

Elsewhere, Old Halesonians recorded just their second win of the season, triumphing 31-15 against Stoke on Trent.

Lichfield strengthened their grip on a top two finish in Regional Two North after they won 39-36 at third-placed West Bridgford.

Tries from Neil Holden, Hansen Christoffersen and George Perkins were not enough to prevent Walsall from losing 35-21 at Long Eaton, while Wolverhampton conceded a walkover in their supposed trip to Newark.

In Counties One West (North), Burntwood sealed their best ever league finish after they defeated Kidderminster 30-10 to guarantee fourth place. Ben Holt, Josh Shepherd, Kian Carter, Max Liggins and Tom Shorrock all scored tries for the hosts, with the visitors’ scores coming from a William Fallows try and the boot of Harry Taft.

Stafford were thrashed 78-7 by table-toppers Edwardians.

In Counties Two West (West), Willenhall saw their title dreams evaporate in a 19-15 defeat to Newport (Salop) II.

Elsewhere, Handsworth beat Tenbury 22-17, Stourbridge Lions were edged out 14-12 at Market Drayton, and Rugeley were thrashed 66-7 by Luctonians III.

Walsall II lost 41-19 to Coventry Welsh in Counties Two West (East).

In Counties Three West (North), Aldridge passed 1,000 points conceded in their 21st game of the season, going down 86-0 at Leek II.

Eccleshall were beaten 25-5 by Newcastle (Staffs) II, while Stone lost 19-17 at home to Cleobury Mortimer. Bloxwich moved above Wednesbury into fourth place in Counties Four West (North) after a 27-16 home victory over their West Midland rivals.

Burntwood II hosted Essington in another local clash, with the home side coming out 12-3 victors. St Leonards enjoyed a 47-0 thrashing of Newcastle (Staffs) III.

And in Counties Four West (South), Warley beat Old Halesonians II 24-5, and Stourport lost 24-16 at Bishop’s Castle & Onny Valley.