Hartpury RFC rally late on to beat Doncaster Knights in the Rugby Championship

Harry Randall scored a hat-trick of tries to secure Hartpury Rugby’s second league win of the season as they narrowly beat Doncaster Knights 29-27 in a game they only led for three minutes.

The England U20 international scored the try that won the game for the Red & Blacks to move them up to 7th in the Championship with 16 points from six games.

The two sides had never met before this encounter, and it was Doncaster who started the game in bullish mood after their strong start to the season and looked like a team sitting in the top three. The visitors took the lead in the 13th minute when Will Owen set up former Hartpury student Andrew Bulumakau to score under the posts.

Hartpury responded with a try of their own as full-back Mike Wilcox dived over in the corner, although the conversion was unsuccessful from Perry. Hartpury took the lead in the 37th minute with Randall’s first try of the game after Gilbert followed up good work from Sheldon to set-up 19 year-old Randall to finish.

Knights regained the lead almost immediately in the last minute of the half with an excellently worked try involving Junior Bulumakau sent scrum-half Tom James over the line, which meant at half-time Doncaster led 14-12.

Straight after the restart Hartpury failed to deal with the kick off and Knights extended their lead with a first ever try for Colin Quigley. However, an inspired Randall put the Red & Blacks back in contention three minutes later. Doncaster looked on course for victory as two Humberstone penalties put them in the driving seat as they led 27-19 with just over ten minutes of play left.

Hartpury replacement Williams sent a penalty over to give the home side hope of a late win. Randall duly obliged after a Hartpury onslaught in the closing stages that inevitably led to the England Under-20 man stepping his way through after a scrum five metres out from the opposition try-line and a Williams conversion secured victory for the Gloucestershire side.

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