The standard of rugby in the Papa Johns Cup  stepped up a gear after  Dartmouth clinched a win over Broad Plain RFC in the competition  at Norton Field last Saturday.

Right from the start, this was a game of running rugby, with end to end excitement for the bumper crowd. 

The visitors were prepared to run the ball from anywhere on the field.

The majority of visiting sides tire against Dartmouth's type of play, but Broad Plain were totally 80 minute rugby.

On 10 minutes a break by 2nd Row Brogan Taylor  resulted in a penalty for Dartmouth and Number 10 Sam Churchill  kicked the point..

Seven minutes later Darts full back Richard Lobb caught a catch in his own half and set off down the touchline with defenders chasing him. 

He got as far as the visitors 22 metre line, then he put in an intelligent cross kick and the ball rolled over the line near the posts. 

Scrum half Billy Colthart beat the opposition to the touch down. Sam Churchill conversion. Sam Churchill controlled the game with his long range touch line kicks and the Dartmouth forwards won quality ball from the resulting lineouts. 

On 22 minutes and after a high tackle on a Dartmouth player, Sam Churchill  added a further 3 points. 13-0

On 35 and  37 minutes, lively Broad Plain Centre Thomas Woodward scored two well taken tries, taking the score to 13-12.

Darts came straight back and with quality ball won at a lineout, Billy Colthart broke and threw out a long pass,  missing his centre and he found Myles Churchill out in midfield  who battled over for a corner try and conversion leading to a half time score of  20-12.

Two minutes into the second half, Lewis Sharam made a break from the lineout and supported by hooker Tom Clark who took Sharam's pass at speed and broke clear to sprint off to score under the posts.

The end to end rugby continued and it was Broad Plain's turn to attack the Dartmouth line, but the home defence held firm.

Captain Karl Caunter led his team by example and put in some battering runs up field. One such run resulted in the Captain just being tackled 2 metres  from the visitors try line but again, support was there in the form of centre Jake Bridgwood.  He took the movement forward and twisted and turned himself over the line for a Dartmouth try followed by a Sam Churchill conversion

With 20 minutes to go, the visitors were still playing the running game  and from a scrum, the ball  was fed out to their Captain Samba Ceesay on the wing who crossed for a corner try.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, Broad Plain thought they could score tries and only the tackling of the home sides defence , especially centre Matt Ford saved the day. 

Both teams emptied their benches and brought on fresh legs. The visitors were attacking Dartmouth and 2nd row Callum Handley went over for a converted try.

The last 5 minutes  of the game saw the Darts forwards raise their game and a move by Myles Churchill  saw him break tackles and crash over the visitors try line for Dartmouth's  last score.

In last minute of the game, super fit Broad Plain put pressure on the Darts pack and 2nd row Xavier Kelly crossed the line for the final score of this entertaining game leaing the score line at 39-29.

‘This was a proper quarter final and an exciting game for the crowd,’ said Dartmouth manager Andrew Tomkinson.

‘Broad Plain were a very good team. They used their backs  well and their passing through their hands was impressive at times. They just couldn't match our physicality  up front. I think, we were the better team on the day, even though our penalty  count was far to high and that is something we will work on before Saturday's semi final.’ 

The semi-final takes place this Saturday (May 4)  when  Dartmouth host Old Elthamians RFC with a 2.30pm kick off at Norton Field