Gnr Senitiki Nayalo (7 Para RHA) and LCpl Lloyd Wheeldon (3 Para) were both on the winning side as their respective clubs progressed into the next round of the Championship Cup.
Gnr Nayalo played the whole 80 minutes as Coventry overturned a six-point deficit against Ampthill. However, as with the first leg, the return fixture at Butts Park Arena had plenty of momentum shifts, and it took a late penalty for the blue and whites to see off the Bedfordshire opposition.
Ampthill had opened the scoring with two tries in the opening 10 minutes, Coventry replying with two of their own to lead 14-12 at the break. That was also the scoreline on the hour, but the shackles came off in the final quarter, as an Ampthill score was answered by two Coventry tries in the space of three minutes.
Another Ampthill try made it 28-22 to the hosts, but also tied the aggregate scores with just eight minutes to play. The crucial moment came four minutes from time, Coventry landing a penalty to win 31-22 on the day and 52-49 on aggregate.
LCpl Wheeldon was a second half replacement as Doncaster also came back from a first leg deficit at the Mennaye Field. The Knights had scored late against Cornish Pirates at Castle Park a fortnight previously to make the aggregate score 24-26 in favour of the Duchy outfit, but it was the Pirates who had the early momentum on their home turf, pulling out to a 10-0 lead inside the opening 25 minutes.
Doncaster hit the front with a pair of tries, only for the hosts to reply with a second five-pointer of their own to lead 15-12 at half-time.
The Knights scored next, and with 20 minutes to play the tie was finely poised at 15-19 on the day and 41-43 on aggregate. However Doncaster broke the contest wide open with a pair of tries in the space of five minutes, and though the Pirates did respond they could not get within touching distance of the visitors, who ran out 32-20 victors on the day, and 56-46 overall.
Coventry and Doncaster will now go head-to-head in the next round, which will also be a two-legged affair.
There was another remarkable result at the Recreation Ground, where LCpl Semesa Rokoduguni (Scots DG) was on the Bath wing against Northampton Saints.
Bath have had little more than pride to play for in the Premiership for several months, whereas Northampton came to the city aiming for a top four place.
The Saints also opened the scoring after 17 minutes, but the 20 minutes either side of half-time belonged to the hosts, who scored four converted tries and a penalty to lead 31-12.
However, a long injury break just past the hour seemed to both take the wind out of Bath’s sails and galvanise the Saints, who staged a remarkable comeback in the final quarter, scoring in the 65th, 70th and 76th minutes, and then in the final play of the game to win 36-31.
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Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks.
Header and Featured Images © Alligin Photography, Lee Crabb