AN IMPRESSIVE 62-28 home win over Cinderford combined with defeat for second-placed Rosslyn Park enabled Doncaster Knights to extend their lead at the top of the National One standings to eight points.
Jamie Lennard led the way for Clive Griffiths’s team, registering 27 points, including two tries, in a prolific display which also saw him convert all but two of the nine tries plundered by the home team.
Mat Clark powered over in just the second minute to set the tone, although the visitors levelled quickly through a converted Nevarro Codlin effort five minutes later.
Fly-half Lennard converted his own 19th-minute try to restore the home side’s advantage which had stretched to 36-14 by the break through tries from Tyson Lewis, Michael Hills and Glenn Bryce, with Cinderford staying in contenion with a converted Michael Wilcox try.
Lewis’s second try early in the second half was followed by further scores from Lennard and Clark before the visitors responded through Wilcox in the 67th minute to make it 55-21.
Lennard then converted replacement Douglas Flockhart’s try, before Lance Randall grabbed a late consolation for Cinderford.
Wharfedale slipped up at home to second-bottom Tynedale, going down 27-14 to the visitors, who out-scored them four tries to one.
The Greens opened the scoring through a Tom Barrett penalty after just four minutes but, three minutes later, Tynedale were ahead through a Ben Frankland try and that became 12-3 after 20 minutes when Hamish Smales’s effort was converted by Gavin Beasley.
It got worse for Wharfedale moments later when their restart went straight into touch.
The resulting scrum was easily won by the visitors and, as a result, Matthew Charters touched down with Beasley doing the honours to make it 19-3.
Beasley added a penalty after 25 minutes, with Barrett matching that before the break to see the visitors 22-6 ahead.
That deficit was cut further in the 48th minute by another Barrett penalty, but Tynedale responded with their fourth and final try through Sep Visser five minutes later to virtually end all hope of a successful comeback, Joseph Donkin’s late try nothing more than a consolation.
Hull Ionians may have slipped to their 17th league defeat of the campaign, but they gave themselves hope of avoiding the drop with a spirited display in a 33-24 defeat to hosts Richmond.
After briefly taking the lead, the visitors were still good value for going in level at 17-17 at half-time thanks to tries from Will Heylings and Steve Slingsby, both of which were converted by Isaac Green, who also added penalty.
But tries for Afalobi Okeshola and James Greenwood, together with two penalties, saw Richmond take control, although a penalty try converted by the reliable Green gave the score some deserved respectability.