Sad end to Miller era at Dons

Dons' coach Tony Miller who is leaving
Dons' coach Tony Miller who is leaving

Tony Miller’s tenure in charge of the Dons ended with both another spirited fightback and ultimately disappointment as they fell at the first play-off hurdle.

Doncaster’s Dewsbury hoodoo continued as the West Yorkshire visitors held on for a two point win at the Keepmoat, their third victory over Doncaster this term.

With renewed effort in the second half, the Dons players clearly wanted to send Miller out in style. But the damage was done in a rather below- par and error-ridden first half performance from his side, unaided by some particularly shambolic officiating.

Dewsbury were not at their best either, yet had enough in that first half for the win. All 30 points for the visitors came in the opening period where opportunities were gifted by poor defending and infringements missed by referee George Stokes.

Twice in three minutes the Dons failed to collect loose balls allowing tries for Brad Watkinson and Stephen Nash, both converted by Kieran Hyde.

The Dons hit back on 14 minutes after some good movement of the ball with Craig Robinson going over, Dave Scott converting.

Stokes missed a clear forward pass as Scott Hale was sent in to score for the visitors on 17 minutes.

Hyde converted and added a potentially decisive penalty five minutes later.

The Dons hit back on 29 minutes through Lee Waterman but the rest of the half firmly belonged to the visitors.

Blatant crossing was missed in the build-up to an Austin Buchanan score with Ben Jones adding another just seconds after Paul Cooke was sinbinned for apparent dissent.

The second half began as poorly as the first in quality terms and it took 20 minutes for either side to get a hold on proceedings.

From the 60 minute mark, all the momentum was with the Dons.

Tries from Mark Castle, Waterman and Grant Edwards saw the Dons roar back into contention, moving within two points of leveling up.

But errors saw chances for a winning try go begging with the Dons left to rue missed opportunities in Miller’s final farewell.

Dons: Butterfield, Tuffour, Leaf, Waterman, Scott, Cooke, Fawcett, Castle, Emmett, Carbutt, Kelly, Robinson, Edwards. Subs: Kesik, Waller, Spiers, Sanderson.