A difficult day in the office
A serious mouth injury to Joe Hinkins cast a shadow over Deal and Betteshanger’s sixth defeat in London 2 South East at Bexley on Saturday
The No.8 sustained a badly cut lip after being caught by a Dartfordians head early in the first half and had to go to Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead where he underwent plastic surgery.
Deal coach Dave Wiggins expects Hinkins to be out until at least the new year and said his feeling was that the injury was caused deliberately although the incident went unpunished by the referee. He added: “In my opinion he was taken out and I knew straight away it was a bad injury. He’s got a triangular cut in the middle of his lip right where the cleft is and he had to have microsurgery. It’s a soft tissue injury and I’m sure painful for him.”
The loss of Hinkins was a big blow to a Deal side already seriously depleted by injury and unavailability but Wiggins said the players who made the trip deserved credit.
The back three comprised 17-year-olds Henry Evans, Tom McLachlan and Alex Waldron while fellow teenager Marcus Nelson played in the second row.
Several other players were forced to play out of position and Wiggins said: “We only went up there with 16 but the lads who came in did not let us down.
“The youngsters got a big round of applause in the dressing room afterwards. It was a tough afternoon but we take it on the chin, regroup and move on.” Deal were behind inside three minutes and trailed 29-0 at half-time as Dartfordians ran in four tries. The home side added four more in the second half, with the scoring completed by five conversions and a penalty.