THE baptism of fire in Jewson National Division Two (North) continued for Doncaster when they were handed a 30-23 defeat on their visit to leaders Sedgley Park.
after what promises to be another tough game against Nuneaton at Armthorpe Road this Saturday, the town club can look forward to what should be some easier matches.Of their five defeats from seven matches played so far, four of those have been at the hands of clubs currently occupying the top four places in the league. Doncaster are now 11th out of 14, but they have yet to meet any other sides from the bottom half dozen.Doncaster had aimed to field an unchanged side for their visit to Manchester but had to rethink their plans when player-coach John Liley was delayed in heavy traffic on the M6. They took to the field with utility back Paul Townsley making his First XV debut at number 15.The visitors enjoyed a good start, thanks to forward pressure, and went 6-0 ahead in the first 10 minutes with two penalty goals from Phil Ure.However, six minutes later Sedgley Park broke through the Doncaster defence to score a converted try, and the visitors went 22-6 down by half time, their cause not helped when they conceded a needless penalty.Doncaster brought John Liley on at half time and he made an immediate impact as the visitors fought their way back into the game.With seven minutes of the second half gone, it was Liley himself who scored wide out after a good drive by the backs, followed by some slick handling from the backs.Then, after a good run by centre Jon Ellis, left winger Chris Conway burst through the Sedgley defence for another try. Ure's conversion brought the score back to 22-18 and, with half an hour left, Doncaster were back in the game.But within minutes Sedgley Park had added another penalty goal, and Doncaster's number eight Mark Longworth left the field injured to be replaced by Michael Harfoot. Longworth returned ten minutes later, Harfoot staying on at the expense of lock James Norris.Sedgley Park broke a period of stalemate midway through the second half, skipper Christian Raducanu touching down to put them 30-18 ahead, but Doncaster had the better of the final ten minutes and reduced the arrears again when centre Matt Donkin crashed over for a try.The visitors had left their fightback too late, but they could take heart from the fact that they had scored three tries to one when they were at full strength in the second half.This week's visitors to Armthorpe Road are Nuneaton, who are currently in mid table after finishing fifth last season.