Rosslyn Park head coach James Buckland cut a disappointed figure on Saturday, despite presiding over a third consecutive National League One win.

A hat-trick from skipper Hugo Ellis saw Park claim the spoils against Darlington, 26-17, with the visitors battling hard despite being reduced to 14 men following the second-half dismissal of Bruno Bravo.

However, the lack of a bonus point scoring try left Buckland ruing missed chances and Park two points off early leaders Ampthill.

He said: “We were good in parts, and the three tries we scored were very well taken.

“I felt we were in control for large parts of the game and contained Darlington well, but the disappointment is in leaving the bonus point out there.”

He added: “Credit to Darlington, though. They were in the game at 11-10 and they will have felt aggrieved by the sending-off.

“They hung on in there, though, and the onus was on us to make things happen.

“We’re pleased to have picked up another win and it all adds to the confidence and momentum that you need to build up to be successful in National One.

“Any win in this division is hard earned and today was no different.

“We’ll look at the video during the week and work on a few bits, but we go to Hull in good spirits with the development of the side continuing.”

After being made to work hard in Plymouth last time out, Park were keen on replicating the form they showed on the opening weekend against Henley Hawks, but were forced to work hard to claim, in the end, a deserved win.

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Ellis scored a trademark triple of scores, all from driving mauls, and though the visitors were in touch at half-time at 11-10, Bravo’s dismissal early on in the second period proved vital, with the home side opening up an ultimately unassailable lead.

The number eight continues to be prolific from the base of the scrum, but it was arguably his colleague in the back-row, the recalled Sam Shires, who was the star man.

His battle with Vaioleti was worth the entrance fee alone and the flanker gave everything he had to go toe-to-toe with the big South Sea islander.

Bravo got Darlington on the scoresheet from close range following a storming 20m run from the impressive Taite Vaioleti, who made yards every time he got his hands on the ball.

Replacement Simon Uzokwe then raced over with just over 10 minutes to play after Paul Mackey was adjudged to have touched Garry Law’s re-start, which did not go the required 10m.

Referee James Clarke waved play on, and Uzokwe needed no second invitation. Over he strode unopposed, but that was the last of the scoring, with the men in red and white holding the visitors at arm’s length to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Park go to Hull Ionians, who are seventh in the table, this weekend.

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