Eastmoor Dragons denied share of spoils in Cumbria by controversial late try

A seriously understrength Eastmoor Dragons side went to Cumbria determined to carry on the improvement shown in the previous week’s game at Bentley where they had come away with a draw to get their first point of the season.

By Tony Harber
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 9:00 am
Eastmoor Dragons were unlucky to be edged out by Millom in their latest National Conference League game.

However, things looked ominous when playing into a gale in the first half they found themselves 12-0 down to Millom on 24 minutes.

Moor finally got on the scoreboard on 35 minutes when winger Jayk Javens followed a kick ahead by Lewi Byliss to score wide out and Jamie Deal tagged on the extras against the unabated wind to make it 12-6 at half-time.

Dragons took the initiative on the restart and Jordan Oxley was soon over the whitewash with Deal converting to level up the game on 48 minutes.

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It was all Dragons at this point with Millom under pressure and cracking again just past the hour mark as full-back Jack Raby made inroads before passing to the supporting Declan Nicholson who stepped the defence to race in to score under the posts from 40 yards.

With another Jamie Deal conversion added the Dragons were in the driving seat for the first time in the game at 18-12.

Fortunes fluctuated for both sides for a spell, but it was Millom who were next on the scoresheet as their winger crashed over in front of a large boisterous crowd to close the gap to two points with the conversion attempt failing.

Another push followed by Millom and some sloppy Eastmoor tackling let them in again to regain the lead at 20-18 with five minutes remaining.

Dragons were motivated yet again and Millom, desperate to keep their line intact, gave away a penalty 30 yards out. With Deal having his kicking boots on he made no mistake to send the ball sailing between the posts and it looked like the visitors would have a second successive draw with the sides locked together now at 20-20.

However, immediately on the restart the Dragons gave away a penalty and Millom swung the ball from one side to the other to out strip the Eastmoor defence to score in the corner and steal the league points. The final pass looked well forward, but it was not picked up by the officials.

It was a frustrating finish for the Dragons, but what an improvement these last two games have been for them with Jacob Lord, Robert Hartley and Tom Broom being stand-out players. But it was second row Declan Nicholson who took the NCL man of the match with loose forward Jordan Walker taking the players’ MOM, both with outstanding displays.

The Dragons now have a week off and time for some of their injured players to recover, their next game is at home to Oldham St Anne’s on April 23 with a 2.30pm kick-off.