Muller scores as Dorking make fourth Surrey final
DORKING will be appearing in the Surrey Cup Final for the fourth year in a row after comfortably beating National League One side Rosslyn Park at a wet Big Field on Wednesday night.
Under lights, in the driving rain, on a sloping pitch, Dorking got at their visitors from the outset and built a commanding first half lead, despite playing up aforementioned slope.
Their clean sheet was only blemished by a last second try from Park, who finally managed to break through a stubborn home defence, but it was all too little too late.
Rosslyn Park looked like they did not want to be there. And they probably didn't. There were probably quite a few spectators who thought about being anywhere else.
Those who did turn out for it though would have been royally entertained, despite the low score.
It was a gritty, niggly, bashing game of rugby that the Red & Whites, not that any part of any shirt was white by the end, thoroughly deserved to win.
Things did not look good at the start of the match, Dorking kicked off and a poor low effort did not reach its intended target, forcing a Park scrum. The conditions looked like they would play a bigger part than expected.
However, it was only an early blip as the Red & Whites hustled and harried their opponents into making mistakes, which they were more than happy to cough up on a regular basis.
A good charge down opened the door for an attack, but by the end, not for the first time, the hosts were let down by a poor lineout.
From the first Park infringement, Fraser MacDonald hit the post, but made no mistake the second time around to give Dorking a 3-0 lead.
That was extended to 6-0 when some good offloading on the break was stopped in its tracks by a dangerous high tackle and MacDonald took the opportunity to slot another penalty.
A Rosslyn Park kick forward did not reach touch and the impressive Ben Tyler picked up and stormed upfield, running half the length of the pitch before running out of room when dinking a kick over a covering defender.
He was involved once again soon after though, when Dorking got their only try on the scoreboard.
The Aussie kicked a loose ball forward, and, joined by Alrich Muller, chased it down himself. He won the foot race and kicked along the ground once again. A defender attempted to plunge on the ball, but Muller this time just got there first, nicked away from the last gasp dive and crashed onto the ball over the line.
MacDonald added the extras and after No 8 Ed Stembridge saw yellow for an offside infringement, the Dorking 10 slotted another penalty for a fine 16-0 interval lead.
Dorking really should have made the extra man count at the start of the second period when they pushed Rosslyn Park all the way back to their own try line from a scrum, with the visitors struggling to keep their footing on the slippery surface, but inexplicably captain Armand Roux decided to pick up the ball a couple of metres from the line, rather than seeing out the push and the ball was lost and the chance was gone.
It did not matter in the slightest though, as some stunning defensive work kept Park at bay once they returned to full compliment, that was until the very last seconds of the match when James Cordey Redden slipped through a gap to crash over the whitewash. The extras could not be added and the final whistle sounded to earn the home side another Surrey Cup final place.
Dorking: Stewart, Johnson, Knight, Wiseman, Higgins, Roux, White, B Lucas, Munford, MacDonald, R Lucas, Kemp, Muller, Crow, Tyler, Greenwell, Puttick, Carloss, Vermont, A Gardner, Hunt, Johnson.