Dockers and Bears End Up All Square
29th April 2013, 19:25
Newham Dockers fought back from a 14-point deficit to earn themselves a 28-28 draw in their opening game of the Entry League season against Beckenham Bears at Memorial Park (writes Liam Feaviour).
Newham captain Mike Hillard was happy with a point saying: “Being such a new team, this is kind of a milestone for us. It shows we’ve made progress.”
The Dockers had the better of the early stages but the Bears opened the scoring after 15 minutes, Chris Beaven charging over the try line despite the attempts of a couple of Dockers defenders. The Bears touched down again minutes later as Liam Greene powered down the right wing to dive over in the corner. Billy Osborne added a conversion to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.
Newham got back into the game just before half-time when scrum-half Alex Waller held off a couple of tacklers and produced a brilliant offload for 17-yearold centre Owafulo Dappo to score. Just before half –time Dockers drew level when Waller took a quick tap and his neat short pass allowed prop Dave Hayward to barrel his way over.
Beckenham came out firing at the start of the second half with a couple of quick-fire tries, Aaron Brown grabbing the first and Beaven claiming the second with Osborne adding the extras to give the Bears a 12-point lead.
The Dockers again hit back with a try from loose forward Kevin Davey but going into the final quarter it looked like the visitors had the game wrapped up as they bagged another try through Lewis Theonercroft again converted by Osborne.
But in the final15 minutes the Dockers rallied, Miles Tait began the fight back crossing in the corner after some smart handling. Five minutes later scrum half Waller crossed for another which was converted by Lambert to reduce the arrears to just four points.
Coach Matt Isherwood had the final say, taking advantage of some tiring Bears defence to barged over from dummy half to level the scores. Lambert had a chance to win the game for the Dockers with the conversion but his kick drifted wide in the wind.
Skipper Hillard added: “If we keep this group of players it’s going to give us a great platform for the season and hopefully give us some consistency.”