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DK chasing a late push for play-offs

By Nick Elwell | Grassroots | Published:

Director of rugby Neil Shillingford is refusing to give up on promotion after Dudley Kingswinford continued their resurgence by beating Hereford.

DK’s hat-trick hero Charlie Baffour heads for the line (Photo: Ian Jackson)

Saturday’s 41-19 home win was the third victory in a row for the Heathbrook outfit, who are starting to get back toward their best following a five-game losing streak which threatened to derail their campaign.

Charlie Baffour scored a first-half hat-trick to put DK on top, with strong defensive work early in the second half ultimately sealing the win.

DK remain fourth in Midlands One West, 12 points behind second-placed Newbold.

Yet Shillingford believes the gap can still be erased between now and the end of the season.

“We are still in there with a chance,” he said. “Yes, it is going to require a big turnaround but that is not out of the question with the fixtures still left to be played.

“All we can do is concentrate on ourselves. We know we can’t afford slip-ups. It’s about taking five points every week and we will see where that takes us.

“I certainly think second spot and the play-off place is still within reach.”

DK appeared set for an emphatic victory when tries from Baffour, Sam Vaughan and Stefan Shillingford saw them race into a 19-0 first-half lead.

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But Hereford hit back with three tries of their own and it required two more scores from Baffour to put the hosts 29-19 up at the break.

DK then withstood severe pressure from the visitors during the early stages of the second half, which took place mostly in their own 22.

Gradually, Hereford began to tire and the home team took advantage, Vaughan’s second try of the game and a score for Tommy Walker putting the result beyond doubt.

No game is scheduled for this weekend and Shillingford said: “I don’t think the break is a bad thing.

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“It will be nice to get two weeks of training in, weather permitting, before we go to Longton on February 9.

“Saturday was another step forward for us, though it was far from perfect and there are still areas we can improve on.

“We let them back into the game with two quick tries which could have been prevented and we gave away too much territory early in the second half.

“We worked it out and put it right and ended up winning comfortably. There were lots of positives and most importantly of all we got the bonus point.”

Nick Elwell

By Nick Elwell
Grassroots Sports Editor

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