Caldy 26/12/22

52Doncaster Knights


2:30 pm · December 26, 2022

Pace of Play and Swift Handling Sees Knights Break 50-Point Mark Against Caldy

In the first ever fixture between the two sides, Doncaster Knights ran away with a convincing 52-14 scoreline over new Championship competition Caldy at Castle Park today on Boxing Day.

The Knights scored just 2 minutes into the encounter, and never relinquished their scoreboard lead. Moving swiftly off a lineout, Connor Edwards put a ball out the back to Sam Olver. The fly-half fed Billy McBryde who spotted a long spiral option to Maliq Holden on the wing to run in the opening score.

A tussle ensued in the remainder of the opening quarter as both sides looked for gaps in the defensive lines and went to the air with chip kicks over the defence on a number of occasions.

Donny were crossing the line again on the 20 minute mark. John Kelly, emerging at a charge through the midfield with ball in hand, offloaded to Alex Dolly as the big back-rower went to ground. The scrum half then simply had to run the ball in under the posts, having out-paced the onrushing defenders. Converting his own score, Dolly took the Knights to 12 points.

The visitors were reduced to 14 men on 24 minutes played as Nye Thomas was sent to the sin bin for an infringement resulting from a breakdown produced by prop Jake Armstrong bulldozing down the wing from outside the 22 to just shy of the Caldy 5m line.

A minute later, the Knights had their third score. Replicative of his first try, swift hands gave the Knights a looping spiral option out to Holden on the wing. The back danced his way over, around defenders, for his second score. A lovely strike from the tee saw Dolly add the extras.

Two Donny men soon joined Thomas in the sin bin in quick succession. First was Dolly for a deliberate knock-on on the far wing in his own 22. The second saw Kelly take the heat as a player had to leave the field for the Knights when Caldy were awarded a penalty try from their lineout-produced driving maul.

A positive and pacy first half came to an end shortly following as the hosts ran into the changing rooms with a 12-point lead, despite being reduced to 13 men on the field.

Caldy fans likely had glimmers of a comeback in their eyes when the travelling side were the first on the board in the second half. Taking a clean lineout throw in the host 22, they drove their maul over the line with Ollie Hearn the man in charge of the ball. With Elliot Gourlay’s conversion, they narrowed the board to 19-14.

The Knights pulled ahead again 2 short minutes later, and never truly looked back. Thom Smith made the original first carry before Robbie Smith – having replaced McBryde to make his return from injury – put the jets on to dance around the attempted tackles to break. Feeding Dolly in the 22, the scrum-half had a nice run-in for his second and the bonus point score. His conversion attempt was nicely off the tee to split the uprights.

Connor Edwards got his name on the score card 3 minutes shy of an hour played. Lovely light hands from the Knights in short, sharp phases and Edwards collected a lucky chip bounce to run in the try which Dolly successfully converted.

Less than 10 minutes later, the Knights crossed for another. With good position for a lineout in the Caldy 22, the Donny men crashed over in a pile on the line and Will Holling was a safe bet as the try-scorer from the hooker position.

On 74 minutes played the home side scored their penultimate try. Olver managed to offload in contact to George Simpson who skipped through a couple of attempted tackles to break into the Caldy 22 where he fed Joe Green to complete the run-in underneath the posts. Alec Lloyd-Seed then dutifully added the extras.

As the clock hit the 80 minute mark, there was time for one last score. In a move straight off the training field, the Knights backs combined perfectly. In culmination of the move, the ball bounced perfectly for Robbie Smith behind any remaining defenders and all that was left was for the Donny replacement to turn on the after-burners to cross the whitewash cheered on by the crowd and his teammates.

Lloyd-Seed’s successful conversion put the final stamp on a 52-point day for the Knights in front of a festive and joyful Boxing Day Castle Park crowd.

A fast-paced and high-scoring game will surely put the Knights squad in the right, positive frame of mind as they head into the second half of the season in 2023 with a trip down to Penzance for a rescheduled fixture against Cornish Pirates first on the cards.

Match Statistics

Knights XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 George Simpson, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Ben Carlile, 2 George Roberts, 3 Jake Armstrong, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Evan Mintern, 6 Ben Murphy, 7 Thom Smith, 8 John Kelly.

Replacements | 16 Will Holling, 17 James Wayland, 18 Mak Wilson, 19 Martin Sigren, 20 Jared Cardew, 21 Joe Green, 22 Alec Lloyd-Seed, 23 Robbie Smith.

Tries: Holden 2, Dolly 2, Edwards, Holling, Green, R Smith.

Cons: Dolly 4, Lloyd-Seed 2.

Yellow card: Alex Dolly, John Kelly.


Caldy XV | 15 Elliot Gourlay; 14 Nick Royle, 13 Dan Bibby, 12 Michael Cartmill, 11 Ben Jones; 10 Ezra Hinchliffe, 9 Nye Thomas; 1 Nathan Rushton, 2 Ollie Hearn, 3 Andy Darlington, 4 Tom Sanders, 5 Sam Dickinson, 6 Martin Gerrard, 7 Reuban Birch, 8 JJ Dickinson.

Replacements | 16 Tom Clarke, 17 Will Sanderson, 18 James Harper, 19 Harrison Crowe, 20 Callum Ridgway, 21 Joe Murray, 22 Rhys Hayes, 23 Michael Barlow.

Tries: Penalty try, Hearn.

Cons: Gourlay.

Yellow card: Nye Thomas

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