NEW Dock Stars suffered their first home loss of the season to leaders Amman United in an entertaining encounter at St George’s Field.
Amman, without several regulars, suffered an early blow as returning Tom Barnes lasted just minutes before an injured shoulder forced him off.
New Dock’s dangerous backs stretched the Amman defence early on, and they took the lead with a fifth minute try, a super individual effort from full back Adam Gealy, chipping ahead before gathering the favourable bounce to race in and score.
Man of the match, wing Jac Evans made the first of his numerous dangerous runs, and in the next play, Shane Edwards took it on before front row duo George Clark and Cian Lewis combined to grab the try, converted by outside half Iestyn Griffiths.
Amman were now purring and an excellent break from Iwan Davies and his neat offload put in in-form scrum half Alex Williams to dive over for the try.
New Dock were more than a match for the leaders and continued to take it to them, and after 35 minutes, they were rewarded when number-eight Iestyn Bunyan broke through a weak tackle to scored a try, converted by Adam Gealy, who then missed a chance to give his side a half time lead from a kickable penalty as the whistle blew for the break.
Tom Thorneycroft and Alun Lewis again carried well for the Reds, whose lineout problems surfaced again and so were turned over numerous times as their travails continued with the throw-ins.
But the scrum was a different matter, and from a rock solid scummage, Alex Williams’ pass put in wing Liam Danter for the try early in the second half,Griffiths again converting.
Iwan Davies then almost put in Rhys Howells for a length of the field run-in, but he hadn’t the pace to go all the way and was hauled down.
Stars were still in the game but, with 15 minutes left, they were rattled by a late surge of Amman tries.
George Clark and Alex Williams combined to put in centre Jason Richards for the bonus point try, but Dock’s response was immediate, Declan Jordan replying with a well-worked forwards’ try to make it 28-19.
Jac Evans almost increased the lead as he searched for his deserved try, but from the next phase, Cian Lewis made the yards before Richards pounced for his second.
New Dock were now on the back foot ,and captain Tovey’s men came up against a late Amman surge, the rampant Reds racking up an unlikely 40 points when a very unselfish Joel Foster turned down the chance to score, instead giving the pass to Jason Richards to claim his hat trick.
There was still time for injury time drama as Liam Danter’s pass put in back row man Sean Mangan for a late seventh try.
Perhaps a flattering final margin of defeat for Stars, with the match largely in the balance till the final quarter.
Credit to both sides though for an entertaining game of good running rugby.