Dalton scores hat-trick in Oaks road win

Oakham RFC against Kesteven RFC. Photo by Andy Balmford
Oakham RFC against Kesteven RFC. Photo by Andy Balmford
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Oakham winger Matt Dalton touched down for a hat-trick on Saturday to help his side to an impressive 31-18 away win over Loughborough.

In heavy conditions, Oakham’s forwards laid a platform to allow the side to score four tries against their Midlands Two East (North) rivals.

Oakham coach Tom Armstrong said: “We played really well, which was good because we had a bit of a blip at Christmas.

“We won at home to Kesteven last week but didn’t play that well but this was probably one our best performances this season.”

Oakham were challenging for honours at the start of the season but a four-match losing run over the Christmas period, including a 42-0 drubbing at Dronfield earlier this month, saw them slip away from the leaders.

However two wins on the trot sees Oakham move up to fourth in the league.

On Saturday, Oakham took the lead with a penalty and then converted try by flanker Carel Fourie to go 10-0 ahead.

But Loughborough, who bullied possession through-out, scored two unconverted tries to tie the score at 10-10 at half-time.

Armstrong said: “They had all the possession through the game but our defence was really good.

“The forwards played really well in defence with Pete Watson, Angus Boyle and Chris Carr leading the way.”

Oakham turned defence into attack after the break. Winning a turnover on their own try line, they broke wide for Dalton to go the length of the pitch to score a converted try.

Dalton quickly added his second, which was converted again, but Loughborough refused to lie down, coming back with a five pointer of their own before notching a penalty.

However, Dalton made the result certain with his third score of the day.

Armstrong said: “It was a good match for him. You don’t score a hat-trick playing badly.

“He has bags of pace but he is quite a small lad. But if he gets some space he will score.

“I am really pleased. They were a good team because they came down from the league above last season but we have got the double over them with this win after beating them at home earlier in the season.”

Oakham have got Melbourne at home this weekend.

The Oaks are preparing for a fired-up Melbourne side on Saturday after beating them 17-16 away earlier in the season with the last play of the game.

Kick-off is at 2.15pm.

Midlands 2 East (North)

P W D L Pts

Belgrave 14 12 0 2 58

Spalding 14 12 0 2 57

Ashbourne 13 9 0 4 43

Oakham 14 9 0 5 41

Bakewell Mannerians 13 8 0 5 40

Loughborough 13 6 0 7 32

Dronfield 14 6 0 8 29

Melbourne 12 5 0 7 27

Stamford 13 5 0 8 24

Nottingham Casuals 13 4 0 9 18

Kesteven 14 2 0 12 15

Melton Mowbray 13 2 0 13 3