Red card for Tom Dines but Luctonians beat Harrogate to maintain perfect start in National Two North (From Hereford Times)
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Red card for Tom Dines but Luctonians beat Harrogate to maintain perfect start in National Two North
2:00pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Sport
Luctonians 32 pts Harrogate 31 pts.
LOCK Tom Dines was in the dock last night (Wednesday) after being a shown a straight red card in Luctonians’ thrilling victory at Mortimer Park.
Dines had been charged with allegedly making contact with the eye area of an opponent in last Saturday’s match.
Luctonians submitted video evidence to the RFU and Alex Davidson said the club planned to defend their player at the disciplinary hearing in Bristol.
“We had a maul about eight minutes before half-time and I was on the ball,” explained Davidson, Luctonians’ director of rugby.
“The referee blew up and called Tom Dines to one side and says he made contact with the eyes of an opponent. But we think video evidence shows that it was an innocuous incident and not anything sinister.”
Dines’ dismissal was the major talking point in another National League Two North nail-biter at Kingsland.
George Thomas was also given a first-half yellow card and the hosts prevailed when Harrogate’s Callum Irvine missed a penalty from the last play.
Drew Cheshire, who has signed a contract with Gloucester Academy, scored a second-half brace for Luctonians.
Luctonians led 18-13 at the interval after tries from skipper Jimmy Norris and Brett Prior, while Geraint Langdon kicked two penalties and a conversion.
But with just 13 men on the pitch Luctonians struggled at the start of the second-half and Harrogate scored 10 quick-fire points to lead 23-18.
Langdon was on kicking duty because John Morris was at a wedding and he converted both of Cheshire’s tries.
The lead changed hands throughout the second-half until Irvine’s late miss sealed Luctonians’ third successive win.
Davidson said: “Five minutes either side of half-time, we were down to just six forwards and it made a big difference.
“But we came through in the end and I don’t know whether the red card takes the gloss off our win or adds to it.
“We showed a great deal of heart and commitment against a side who played some open rugby.”
Luctonians are now fifth in the table and turn their attention to this Saturday’s derby at winless Dudley Kingswinford.
“Dudley have not had a great start but we are not taking too much notice of that,” said Davidson.
“We were probably stronger than Dudley last year and they did the double over us. It is important for us to get four wins out of four.”
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