Try at the Death Secures Knights’ First Away Win

Ampthill 18 – 20 Doncaster Knights

A last-gasp try from wing Jack Spittle was enough to secure Doncaster Knights’ first away win of the 2021/22 Championship season.

Against a determined Ampthill side at a windswept Dillingham Park, the Knights made life hard for themselves as they initially went 15 points down – the half-time scoreboard reading 18-3 in the home side’s favour.

Ampthill were the first on the board with an early penalty slotted by fly-half Russell Bennett before Sam Olver levelled things – points which would prove to be his and the Knights’ last of the half.

The home side, on the other hand, pushed on as they scored two uncoverted tries before the break. Both came from forwards as Charlie Beckett and Billy Harding benefited from strong rolling mauls from their side.

The teams re-emerged for the second half with the Knights seeming more in a game mode, but continual errors faltered their attacking prowess in the early stages.

Tides changed when, having only just arrived on the pitch, Billy McBryde placed a brilliantly weighted kick into Ampthill’s 22, setting the Knights up for a tap and go which Sam Hudson was only too happy to benefit from – he barrelled over for the five points.

Having suffered two yellow cards in quick succession – for Harry Seward and Carl Burgess – Ampthill were soon under more pressure from a renewed Knights attack.

The forwards were pivotal to the second Knights score of the day. Great work from the lineout allowed for quick ball to be given to Mark Best who ran the try in unchallenged, quickly followed by the conversion from Olver. It was now a three point game.

At the death, the Knights fans and supporters alike were stunned as the Doncaster side went from defending a lineout on the five metre line to scoring. Jack Spittle burst out of contact, screaming down the line for a lung-busting run to the line to dot down for the deciding score.

The Knights by no means made it easy for themselves but a win is a win in the grand scheme of a season, so this could prove to be an important result come the tail end of the season.

 

Ampthill XV | 15 Joe Luca Smith; 14 Joe Goodchild, 13 Tom Hudson, 12 Ollie Hartley, 11 Josh Skelcey; 10 Russell Bennett, 9 Kevin Barrett; 1 Sam Crean, 2 Billy Harding, 3 Aleki Lutui, 4 Charlie Beckett (c), 5 Llewelyn Jones, 6 Jac Arthur, 7 Austin Wallis, 8 Morgan Monks. 

Replacements | 16 Jack Dickinson, 17 George Thornton, 18 Harry Seward, 19 Carl Burgess, 20 Ollie Stonham, 21 Ewan Fenley, 22 Josh Sharp, 23 Reece Dunn.

Tries; Wallis, Beckett, Harding.

Pens; Bennett.

 

Doncaster Knights XV | 15 Harry Davey, 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Fraser Strachan, 12 Mark Best,11 Jack Spittle, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly, 1 Conrad Cade, 2 George Edgson, 3 Gareth Denman, 4 Danny Drake, 5 Josh Peters, 6 Jack Davies, 7 Sam Graham (C), 8 Guido Volpi.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Will Vaughan, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 John Kelly, 20 Sam Hudson, 21 Joe Green, 22 Joe Margetts, 23 Billy McBryde.

Tries; Hudson, Best, Spittle.

Conv; Olver.

Pens; Olver.

Team News | Knights Named for Ampthill Clash

Doncaster Knights look to secure their first away win of the season tomorrow as we travel to Dillingham Park to face Ampthill.

Head Coach Steve Boden has made just one change to the starting XV that secured a late win against Jersey Reds at Castle Park a fortnight ago.

At inside centre, Mark Best is set to make his first start of the Championship season, replacing Jersey game try-scorer Connor Edwards as the sole change to the starting line-up.

Harry Davey retains the fullback jersey with Billy McBryde named on the bench. John Kelly returns to the matchday squad, along with Andrew Foster and Joe Margetts.

Kick off tomorrow is at 14:00 and supporters coach information can be found on our website – https://www.drfc.co.uk/supporters-coach-ampthill-and-london-scottish/

Starting XV | 15 Harry Davey; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Fraser Strachan, 12 Mark Best, 11 Jack Spittle; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conrad Cade, 2 George Edgson, 3 Gaz Denman, 4 Danny Drake, 5 Josh Peters, 6 Jack Davies, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Guido Volpi.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Will Vaughan, 18 Andy Foster, 19 John Kelly, 20 Sam Hudson, 21 Joe Green, 22 Joe Margetts, 23 Billy McBryde.

The Qube Renew Their Commercial Partnership with Knights

Doncaster Knights are thrilled to announce The Qube have renewed their commercial partnership with the club.

Based in Northamptonshire, The Qube are a design and build construction company specialising in modular construction. The company offer bespoke modular buildings, eco tiny homes and small housing developments creating flexible, modern building solutions constructed to the highest standards.

For the 2021/22 Season, The Qube will sponsor Knights trio Mark Best, Gaz Denman and Josh Peters along with increasing their presence at Castle Park with some pitch-side advertising.

Discussing the renewed partnership, The Qube Associate Director Jordan Spittle said, “We are delighted to help support a fantastic club who did everything they could to keep stakeholders and fans at the forefront of their mind during a tough 20/21 campaign. We cannot wait to get up to support the lads as a company, for the first time!”

Doncaster Knights Commercial Manager Michael Casey is delighted to strengthen the club’s connection with the company. “I am delighted that The Qube are continuing their support of the Club in 2021/22 after joining the commercial network during the truncated 2021 campaign.

“The Qube are an impressive business, and I would urge fans to check out their work online. With fans back at the stadium it has been brilliant to meet Mick & the team and I am excited to see what the partnership achieves moving forward.”

Find out more about the Knights partner at https://www.theqube.group

First Residents Unlock The Door To Their Future at Doncaster Development

The first residents, on a flagship Doncaster new homes development, have moved into their brand-new home.

Steve and Sam Mills with daughters Scarlett, 9 and Harriett, 6 were the first family to receive the keys to the new homes at Westmoor Grange, a development by local builder Albemarle Homes, located on the outskirts of Armthorpe.

“We are delighted with our new home and are looking forward to settling in, making it our own and welcoming friends and family,” said Sam, a Business Services Team Leader for a Doncaster based Motor Finance company. “As first residents, it will be great to meet our neighbours as they arrive and to see how the development will change and grow over the next few years.”

The Mills family had lived in their previous home in Doncaster for 17 years, but after spending so much time at home during lockdown, decided that a larger property would suit their needs perfectly. After viewing several properties in the town, they decided on a Bloomsbury style of home at Westmoor Grange for the space, quality of build and the ideal location for commuting, as Steve’s work as a High Voltage Service Specialist takes him across the region.

“The standard and service offered by Albemarle Homes far exceeded our expectations of what was on offer and the quality of homes offered by other new homes developers,” said Sam. “The plot size was excellent; we were able to reserve our chosen house style with a south facing garden, and things like floor coverings and turf were all included which made things much easier for us.”

Sam concluded; “We’ve really enjoyed buying our new home and the team at Albemarle have been helpful and supportive throughout.  It’s great to see a company that takes pride in what they do and go that little bit further for their customers; we’ve already recommended them to friends and wouldn’t hesitate to do so in the future too.”

Westmoor Grange is a community of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom new homes located close to the M18 and the village of Armthorpe.

For further information and current availability visit https://www.albemarlehomes.co.uk/development/armthorpe/

Knights Sign New Prop Davidson

The Club are delighted to announce the signing of loosehead prop, Conor Davidson, until the end of the season.

The front rower arrives from Manly RUFC in New South Wales where he played in the New South Wales Shute Shield and the Tooheys New Cup.

Discussing Conor’s signing, Head Coach Steve Boden said: “Conor is someone that I’ve tracked for the last couple of years. I thought he had some good, solid performances in a struggling team at Yorkshire Carnegie when they got relegated.”

“Joe Ford knows him pretty well and says he’s a good guy that is hard working in a rugby environment – which is probably the most important thing at Doncaster Knights.”

“We are short of cover at loosehead, with two loan deals in that position and an injury, so he’ll come in to provide cover. We’re delighted to welcome Conor and see what he can achieve in the season ahead.”

Australian-born, Conor has experience playing rugby in England, as he previously played under assistant coach Joe Ford at Yorkshire Carnegie during the 2019/20 season.

Conor has faced an extended period without rugby as Australia has been in a renewed COVID lockdown, so he is looking forward to game time and testing himself in a Knights jersey.

“I’ve had a taste of the Championship before, a couple of years ago and I was definitely wanting to come back. Then Steve Boden reached out with an opportunity and everything just happened within a week to get me here.

“I knew how quality Joe Ford is from my time at Yorkshire, and he was really good to me. I knew it was going to be a good set up at Doncaster because I’d only heard good things. So I’m looking forward to my time here.

“Like everyone, I’ll just be striving to play my best and looking to start. For me, I want to be developing as much as I can in a full-time set up and then push for that starting spot.”

Supporters Coach – Ampthill and London Scottish

Please see below for the latest information on Supporters Coaches for the Ampthill and London Scottish games.

Ampthill

The coach for our fixture at Ampthill on Saturday, October 30 will set off from Buckley’s depot in Blaxton at 9:30am. After usual pick up points in Auckley, Branton, Cantley and Armthorpe, it should arrive at Castle Park at 10am. From there it will pick up on Balby Road opposite the Winning Post before heading south.

The game will kick off at 2pm and the coach will be setting off after the match at 4:30pm.

The cost of the trip will be £20 for adults and £10 for juniors.

To book your seat, please text John Lowe on 07977112706.

Volunteers to run a raffle and Guess the Score are welcome, along with a raffle prize if you would like to donate one.

London Scottish (Boxing Day Fixture)

Everyone should now have been contacted regarding the London Scottish fixture on Boxing Day. In total, the general consensus of replies suggested most would be unwilling to travel to the game due to the date and time of the fixture.

Therefore, there will be no supporters coach to London Scottish on Boxing Day.

Will Holling on Short-Term Loan to Wasps

The Knights are delighted to announce that hooker Will Holling has signed with Wasps on a short-term loan deal.

The former Knights Academy player joins the Premiership outfit in time to feature on the bench for their game against Saracens at the StoneX Stadium this Sunday, Oct 24.

Knights Head Coach Steve Boden believes the loan spell will greatly benefit the talented young hooker. “We feel it’s a great opportunity for Will to showcase himself at a higher level – it’s what we set out to achieve as a club. It’ll be a great experience and I’m sure Will will come back to Doncaster as a better player having been training in that environment.

“We’ve got a close relationship with Wasps, we know the coaches well, so we know he’s going to be looked after and it’s something we’re more than happy to help out with.”

Doncaster born, Will has been with the Knights since joining our Mini/Juniors section before going on to show real drive and determination during his days with the Academy.

Knights Academy Director, Tyson Lewis is excited for the 24-year-old to test himself in the Premiership. “Will epitomises what a Doncaster Knights lad is all about. He’s never shied away from hard work, nothing really gets him down and he’s very much about getting his head down to get the work done, doing what he has to do and more.

“It’s not a surprise that he’s actually got to the pinnacle because his work ethic has always shown that he can do it. He’s come through the club, he was a standout in the Academy along with a few other players.

“Ultimately, when you’re in a group of really good players, it’s the one whose willing to work the hardest that will stand out and make it to the next level. Will is very much, ‘I want to work hard and I’m not phased about what I need to do, let’s just get on with it’.

“I’m over the moon for him. To be in an arena like that, possibly making a Premiership debut, it’s absolutely incredible. And to think he’s the first from the Academy to make it to the Premiership – it’s a validation that the programme is working.

“It’s an inspiration for the boys who are now following in his footsteps to push forward and try to make it to the Premiership.”

Everyone at the club wishes him the greatest success for this time in the Premiership.

Wasps will travel to Saracens this Saturday for a 3pm kick off, live on BT Sport 1.

Job Opportunities

The below job opportunities are currently available at Castle Park.

For any enquiries or to apply, please contact reception@castle-park.co.uk

 

Waitering Staff (Full time and Casual)

We are looking for professional, friendly waiting staff to join our team.

Your main goal in this position should be to ensure the highest level of client satisfaction and provide an outstanding customer experience.

Training will be given.

Kitchen Porters (Full time – Part time)

  1. You will be required to carry out basic cleaning tasks, as fast as possible.
  2. Unloading food from deliveries.
  3. Making sure work surfaces, floor and walls are always clean and sanitised.
  4. Collecting and washing up pots and pans.
  5. Strong organisational skills.
  6. The ability to adhere to health and safety roles.

Full time Chef

To work as part of the Doncaster Knights Catering Team. A minimum of 2-3 years’ experience is required.

Requirements are:

  1. Preparing high quality dishes.
  2. Able to delegate tasks to kitchen staff to ensure meals are prepared in a timely manner.
  3. You should also be familiar with sanitation regulations.
  4. Proven work experience as a chef or cook.
  5. Ability to remain calm and undertake various tasks.
  6. Excellent time management abilities.

Casual Match Day Chefs

Experience casual chefs to work when needed. Will include some evenings and weekends.

Strachan Relishing Opportunity to Excel for Knights

Centre Fraser Strachan signed for the Knights this summer having played last season for fellow Championship side, Ealing Trailfinders.

Strachan had previously been a part of the Northampton Saints Academy, making four appearances for the senior side, before signing with Ealing for the 2020/21 season.

The former England U18 player signed with the Knights having been impressed with the club’s progress last season and with his sights set on more game time.

“It’s been really good since I’ve come in – I knew there were good coaches here and all of the lads have been really welcoming. We’re a fairly new squad, with quite a few new faces but seeing the results that Doncaster produced last year, I knew we’d be good this year.

“It’s been tough but I’ve really enjoyed it, and learned a lot already, which is what I wanted. I wanted to try to push on when I came here – to push on with my career, get some minutes under my belt and get some confidence from the coaches that they trust my game, which they have done.

“I think we got off to a bit of a slow start, just lacking a bit of game management in key moments where we had the chance to win games. But, definitely in the Jersey game, we took the key moments well, so I definitely see us going far in the season.”

Strachan, usually an inside centre, has moved to the outside position more this season to accommodate other players at 12. He praises the coaches for rotating the centres – Connor Edwards, Joe Margetts and Mark Best – in training to enable centre partnerships to form.

“Rotating players in training means you’re constantly working with all three centres, and going in and out of the 12 and 13 role. You build those partnerships in training so that, if we do mix it up in the games or someone gets injured, then we have that connection already, which is good.

“There’s nothing worse than going into a game not having prepared with the other centre because then you don’t know where they are defensively because everyone defends and attacks differently. So, the coaches always mix it up which means we’ve got a pretty good connection among us four centres.

“I’d say my challenge for the rest of the season will be becoming more comfortable with the 13 position. You have to defend differently and, I think, be a little smarter at 13. There’s a lot more players to defend and wider spaces to defend, you have to pick your shots right and decide whether to fly at the line or stay connected. I feel I’ve definitely gotten better and I’d like to push on with it for the rest of the season.”

Strachan will look to be on top of his game should he be selected against his former team, Ealing, later in the season. However, he believes that a confident and settled Knights side could be competitive enough to come out on top versus the West Londoners.

“They’ve got a really big squad, with depth in the squad, and everyone there has got a very good skillset, so they can play with the ball. If our discipline is poor and we give away a lot of penalties then we will be down three, six or nine points or being put in the corner to face their driving maul.

“They’re pretty relentless but, saying that, I think our physicality can beat them because they could go quiet if we put our attack on and we run with good intent. Defensively I think we could go one up on them by stopping them on the gain-line in the first two phases.”

The next opportunity to test the squad’s attacking intent will arrive when Doncaster Knights travel to Dillingham Park to face Ampthill on October 30.

eco2loco Sponsor the Knights for 2021/22 Season

Doncaster Knights are delighted to add eco2loco to our growing network of commercial partners.  

Located off The Great Yorkshire Way, eco2loco provide access to rail freight services to deliver reliable and sustainable ‘port-to-door’ services, connecting local businesses to the rest of the world.

For the 2021/2022 campaign, to strengthen the connection between the club and our newest sponsors, eco2loco banners will be located in the Premier Car Park, now to be known as the eco2loco Car Park.

Speaking on the new partnership, eco2loco Managing Director Paul Bathgate said, “We are delighted to partner with Doncaster Knights and look forward to introducing our clients to the excellent facilities that Castle Park has to offer and enjoying a great afternoon of rugby.”

The brand are now one of over 50 partnerships the Knights have with businesses in the region. Discussing this latest announcement, Doncaster Knights Commercial Manager Michael Casey said, “We are delighted to add eco2loco to the Knights commercial network and are looking forward to working with them closely this season and beyond.”

“It has been interesting to learn more about eco2loco’s offering around rail freight and they have some exciting ideas to promote their services through our business connections at the club.”

Find out more about the Knights’ latest partner at https://eco2loco.com/

Chris Dooner

The club recently received the very sad news of the unexpected death of Chris Dooner.

We send our thoughts and condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.

Chris was a long-time member and supporter for over 60 years at Castle Park, and was truly passionate about all of our teams. He was always happy to let his views be known to any referee if he thought his beloved first team were being incorrectly penalised.

He managed to attend the last home game before passing peacefully on October 8, aged 87. A true gentleman with a great sense of humour, he will be greatly missed.

Chris’s funeral will take place on Monday, October 25 at 11:40 at Rosehill Crematorium, Cantley Lane, Doncaster, before returning to Castle Park. Any members or friends wishing to attend will be warmly welcomed.