Dynamo spark too late to halt Hornets

Rochdale Hornets 60 Dynamo Moscow 18
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The Independent Online

The Russians began too shakily to give themselves a chance of a Powergen Challenge Cup upset at Bobbie Goulding's Rochdale yesterday.

Dynamo became the first Russian side to win a tie when they beat the amateurs of West Bowling in the last round, but any hope that they might be ready to do the same to a professional club disappeared in the first few minutes.

The Russians did just about everything wrong in the early stages, twice putting the ball straight into touch from kick-offs and having Sergei Sidorov sent to the sin bin for holding on in the tackle.

They allowed Janan Billings to score from close range after five minutes and then saw him set up the first try of Andy Gorski's hat-trick. Paul Anderson also crossed before Gorski had the freedom of the park for his second and third. Fortunately for Dynamo, the Hornets became very sloppy after that, even allowing Moscow to get points on the board from the rarity of an obstruction try.

That gave them the encouragement to stage a revival at the start of the second half, with tries from Georgei Vinogradov and Siali Tufeao, reducing the margin to a mere 10 points.

It was Chris Campbell who cut off any possibility of a successful fight-back, scoring three times in the corner in quick succession. Lee Birdseye also got a try to go with his eight goals before Anderson went over for his second and Sam Butterworth ran the length of the field.

Vinogradov scored his second in the last minute and at least one other Moscow player had made an impression, with Goulding talking to their stand-off, Henry Turua - a Cook Islander - about playing for Rochdale. "I was very impressed with him,'' said Rochdale's new coach. "As a team they were very dogged.''

Rochdale Hornets: Platt, Williams, Anderson, Butterworth, Campbell, Braddish, Birdseye, Leathem, Billings, Hansen, Gorski, Ball, Shaw. Substitutes: Ratcliffe, Grundy, Kirwin, Costello.

Dynamo Moscow: Pittman, Zhiznyakov, Fedchuk, Yakubov, Ruban, Turua, Mishukov, Mamochka, Makarov, G'Vozdev, Vinogradov, Koulemine, Tufeao. Substitutes: Lebedev, Sidorov, Darinsky, Katerinchuk.

Referee: R Laughton (Barnsley).