Lucky 13 for Hampstead as four-midable Dimoline inspires rout
PUBLISHED: 15:47 03 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:02 03 March 2014
Dan Dimoline scored four tries as Hampstead eased their relegation fears with a spectacular 78-12 victory at London Nigerian, touching down 13 times in London Division Two North-West.
Hampstead had lost their previous seven games and, with local rivals UCS Old Boys fighting hard below them and gradually closing the gap, the run of defeats had put them at risk of the drop.
There could be no slip-ups away against London Nigerian, who are rooted to the bottom – but the visitors were put under five minutes of concerted pressure from the kick-off and conceded the first try.
That was the wake-up call that they needed and they put a number of phases together, eventually opening their account through stand-in skipper Andy McEwen.
Dimoline missed the conversion but made up by scoring a try a few minutes later – his first of four on the day.
Will Pettit added a third try and Dimoline slotted a penalty to give the visitors a 22-5 lead at the interval, and the floodgates then opened.
Some breathtaking attacking play from Hampstead, coupled with a series of injuries to key Nigerian players, saw the away team score 10 more tries.
Dimoline added three more, while Pettit completed his hat-trick and there were touchdowns for fly-half Mike Griffiths, veteran Pete Evans, Shane Godding, Neil Watt and Dave Kerr.
Hampstead coach Peter Breen was delighted with the victory, but warned that tougher tests lay ahead.
He said: “We scored some great tries and have come away with five valuable points – but we’ve got UCS next week in another must-win game and they’ll be out to beat us.”
Hampstead’s ladies also returned to winning ways as a 29-0 victory over Rosslyn Park left them one point of the top in the Women’s Championship South East Division Two.
Hampstead had lost their previous game – a top-of-the-table clash against Blackheath – but they immediately bounced back on Sunday.
The ‘home’ fixture was moved to Finchley Rugby Club because of waterlogged pitches, and Hampstead dominated from the kick-off, earning a line-out on Park’s five-metre line, which produced the opening try as captain Sylvie Fail went over, assisted by Louise Tyson.
Despite some tough defence from Park, Hampstead managed to add two more tries in the first half – one from speedy winger Robyn Drake and another from vice-captain Niki Fitzgerald, who crossed the whitewash just before the break, with Kerrie Tuck converting.
There were some changes to the pack and back line at the interval, and Hampstead worked hard to add to their tally in the second period.
Hannah Stephen ran through a gap in the defence to put her side 22-0 up, and winger Mel Wright produced a final flurry, adding a fifth try which secured a valuable bonus point, while Fran Hall added the extras.