Bufton double as Dings come through in a nine-try thriller
DINGS and Chinnor served up a 74-point thriller during an entertaining contest at Landseer Avenue.
Both sides came to play attacking rugby, and the sizable crowd was treated to a nine-try spectacle, that was still hanging in the balance deep into stoppage time.
The home side just about deserved to take the spoils, with full-back Mark Woodrow, pictured, again showing his worth by contributing 19 points, with a try, four conversions and two penalties in his man-of-the-match display.
Lock Dave Bufton, who led the Dings forward effort, bagged a brace of tries, with scrum-half Steve Plummer and flanker Steve Uren also adding touchdowns for the home side.
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Crusaders were irresistible during the opening 15 minutes, and looked capable of running away with the contest, as the visitors reeled under the early onslaught. Dings bossed the lineout tussle, with flanker Joe Joyce dominating in the air.
Centre Sam Cox, who carried strongly in midfield, linked well with Jack Nowell, who also impressed on his home league debut.
Crusaders front row trio of Mike Flook, Adam Bellamy and Josh Lloyd set a solid platform from which to attack.
Woodrow opened the scoring with a 8th minute penalty before adding the extras when Bufton was driven over from a five-metre line-out. Visiting stand-off James Cathcart landed a penalty, before Plummer darted over from a five-metre scrum to give Dings a 15-3 cushion.
But, despite their lively start, Dings hit the buffers midway through the half, and the visitors came roaring back.
Dings' line-out fell to pieces, and as a result, the visitors began to dominate possession and territory.
Chinnor led 18-15 at the turnaround, with full-back Henry Colver and wing Thomas Gray scoring tries, and Cathcart kicking two penalties and a conversion.
Dings responded early in the second half with Bufton powering his way across the line, taking three defenders with him, to nudge Dings into a 22-18 lead.
But Dings' line-out woes continued to prove costly, and Chinnor capitalised on Dings' set-piece frailties. Cathcart slotted a penalty and converted Gray's second try to give his side a 28-22 advantage going into the final quarter.
But the home side re-established control and produced a flurry of points.
First, Uren scrambled over for a try converted by Woodrow, after Plummer had made a half-break and offloaded to the flanker.
Woodrow kicked another penalty before adding the extras to his own spectacular effort, that eased Crusaders into a 39-28 lead.
The visitors pressed hard to pick up two deserved bonus-point when Leo Fielding crossed for a try converted by Colver, but Dings held on for a deserved win.