Guernsey 50 Dorking 45 – National League 3 London & SE
Dorking were involved in a second successive high-scoring thriller, but this time had to settle for two bonus points in a narrow defeat away in the Channel Islands.
Having run in six tries last week to see off a Chichester revival, on Saturday they had to score another six but this time to come back from 24-0 down.
Director of Rugby Armand Roux admitted: “It was a cracking game and I think myself and our supporters experienced every emotion. If we’d switched on from the start I felt we could have won.”
Dorking had seemed focused and physically ready for the Raiders’ challenge. But a very early start to catch the flight to Guernsey and a lot of hanging around on the island seemed to conspire against them as they failed to execute basic moves and let in four first-half tries with defensive lapses.
But the spirit in the side is good – and getting better all the time – so it was no surprise when great tries from full back Adam Worth, flanker Jonny Ellis and an intercept from winger Mike Terelak, all converted by Worth, gave the scoreline a more respectable 31-21 look at the interval.
A Worth penalty brought Dorking back to within a single try of Guernsey, but the huge home pack proved very effective and Dorking’s defence continued to be tested.
A break from flanker Oli Edwards fed Ellis for his second of the day with great support play yet again for the bonus point. Soon after Joseph Mogaji expertly rounded his winger for a clear sprint under the post and Dorking took the lead 38-36 for the first time with 10 minutes to go.
Guernsey hit straight back with a try and with Dorking pressing hard the home fly-half intercepted a pass to run in under the posts and a Dorking victory was gone. However, in a last-minute flourish outside centre Fraser Mosley superbly scored under the posts and converted by Worth – who converted all tries in a personal 20-point haul – to earn a losing bonus point in the 50-45 defeat, surely one of the highest-scoring games likely to be seen this season.
Roux added: “Even though I’m not happy about the performance overall, I’m really pleased to see the character of this group of players. We are a very young side in comparison to most teams in this league and this was great experience for all involved.
“With backs against the wall after 20mins, they really pulled together and took the game to Guernsey. Again our backs expertly showed how they can finish tries and it is really pleasing to see our 11, 13, 14, 15 and back row scoring in true Dorking style.
“It was also a great opportunity to give Killian and Harvey their first opportunity at 10 and bench respectively.
“What might have been if we had stayed calm in that first 20 minutes and just concentrated on executing the basics?
“In the end Guernsey were just too strong for us on the day, but it is definately one of those fixtures that we are looking forward to in the new year at the Big Field.
“We were also delighted to see such huge Dorking support out there and I can only thank all of our friends for driving these boys to work so hard. There is nothing better than having so much support behind you when you are playing. It means so much.
“We had very good trip to Guernsey and took 2 points from a team that will be really tough to beat over there.”
On Saturday Dorking play Shelford at home. KO 2.30pm.
Squad: Fred Evans, James Catton (Captain), George Evans. Steve Howorth, Jake Dobson, Jonny Ellis, Oli Edwards, Harry Watts, Zach Woodcock, Killian Wilson, Joseph Mogaji, Fraser Macdonald, Fraser Mosley, Mike Terelak, Adam Worth. Subs: Ed Jenkins, Jasper King, Harvey Mewis