Trinity 18 Kingston 18
Trinity gained a tremendous result from this game by virtue of dogged resistance and perseverance. Kingston were by far the superior team in terms of possession, territory and opportunities.
The visitors dominated the early exchanges, but Trinity defended well and won a succession of penalties before fly-half Dan Crouch kicked them ahead after 7 minutes.
Kingston were in charge for the next 15 minutes with an unrelenting assault on the home line. They mauled powerfully, spread the ball well but butchered two good chances and were then held up over the line. Trinity’s defence was exemplary with prop Jacques Bryant putting in a crunching try-saving tackle. Kingston missed two more chances before Mids eventually won ball and cleared their lines. Trinity then lost their powerful winger, Ben Edmondson with a shoulder injury before Kington eventually equalised with a penalty from fly-half Ollie Clements, scant reward for all their pressure.
Trinity managed to play in the visitors’ half for the next 10 minutes but showed little penetration. Kingston returned to the attack and took the lead with another penalty from Clements after 31 minutes.
Trinity now came into the game much more and Crouch found a good position in the corner with a penalty. The line out was lost on this occasion, but Kingston infringed, and Crouch found a good touch again. This time Mids controlled the ball well and some excellent moves through the phases led to a break by Crouch who then found No8 George Daniels speeding up the wing for a first class try. Kingston now had a man sent to the bin. Crouch’s fine conversion attempt was foiled by the upright, but Trinity had an unlikely lead of 8-6 at the interval.
An injury to winger Harry Wilson early in the second half was a blow to Mids but the replacements and reconfiguration were very well managed by coach Andy Edwards who is fortunate in having such versatile players, none more so than Rob Farmer who can play almost anywhere. On 47 minutes Crouch hit a fine penalty into the wind to stretch the lead to 11-6. Mids continued to do well up the hill but then a long kick from Kingston found touch deep in the home 22 to put them back in charge. Trinity heroically defended some 6 phases but eventually Kingston got their reward through No.8 Harry Bettinson. Clements converted and the visitors led 13-11 with half an hour left.
Kingston now put on a lot of pressure in their endeavours to secure the game. Trinity did have their moments, however, and were aided by some poor discipline by the visitors whose backchat was penalised by a firm referee. Crouch found the corner, but a crucial line out was lost and Kingston sent a raking kick down the field to undo all the home side’s hard work. The task was made even more difficult when replacement Adam Stammers was sent to the bin for a team yellow. Nevertheless, the never-say-die Mids rallied and produced a fine handling move in which hooker Tim Jupp showed his paces with an impressive burst. A long penalty into the wind by Crouch was well struck but just missed.
Again Kingston camped in the home 22 and were over the line and held up on two occasions. Despite stout resistance they did score finally through lock Sam Rushmer. The conversion was missed, however, and there was still hope for Trinity if they could produce something exceptional. This they did with a well -controlled assault on Kingston’s line for the final 10 minutes of the game. Lock Dave Spedding was just short .Their scrum had contributed magnificently during the course of the game, despite being understrength through injuries and the forwards relished the final challenge. Kingston conceded a huge number of penalties and received two red cards, the first a second yellow and the second for foolish chat.
After innumerable patient phases Stammers got the team their reward and it was down to Crouch to kick the conversion to draw the match. The man of the match duly obliged and Trinity had achieved what had seemed impossible earlier.