Fine team display seals bonus point success

Dom Walsh breaks for Heath against Scarborough
Dom Walsh breaks for Heath against Scarborough

Old Crossleyans 38 Sheffield 11

Old Crossleyans made it two home wins from two in North One East after a strong, all-round performance saw off the challenge from Sheffield.

The bonus point victory also moved the Broomfield men up to fourth in the fledgling table.

Chris Vine put Crocs on the scoreboard with a penalty for offside only for the visitors to level through Rob Holland following a similar offence.

Three penalties for offside, holding in the ruck and obstruction, the latter offence drawing a yellow card from the referee, allowed Vine to stretch the home side’s advantage to 12-3 before the Sheffield line was breached after 24 minutes courtesy of a moment of individual brilliance from Gareth Ott.

A free-kick from a scrum infringement saw Andy Day drive the ball forward and set up good field postiion from where Ott danced and jinked through from 20 metres without a hand being laid on him.

Holland reduced the arrears to 19-6 through another penalty and after Sheffield had seen a second player yellow carded, Ott went over again for an identical score to his first to make it 24-6 at the break.

Crocs extended their lead 12 minutes into the second half when the referee ran out of patience following a series of scrums on the Sheffield line - the official eventually awarding a penalty try which Vine converted for 31-6.

Full-back Joe Baker then took advantage of quick recycling and Day’s pick up and pass to score the bonus point try, Vine adding the extras to make it 38-6.

Sheffield responded well and Gavin Lee hit the ball at pace following a tap penlty to go over for an unconverted try.

Sheffield then had a man sent off for foul play just before the final whistle.

Heath 11 Scarborough 18

A hard-earned bonus point was all Heath’s reward from their home defeat by unbeaten Scarborough

Changes to the team resulted from the late withdrawal of Rob Thackeray and Stephen Hare. Mick Gleeson started at fullback, Lewis McKenzie wing, Matt Hallett centre and Josh Lister wing. The pack welcomed the return of Chris Moore and Koffi Brobbey with Ian Downsborough and Hamish Pratt changing places. On the bench were Olly Wilby, Cameron Ramsden and stalwart Roger Hammond. 
Scarborough got into their stride quickly and following good inter-passing, Tom Ratcliffe went over in the left-hand corner and then converted his try for a 7-0 lead.

Good work from Gleeson and Ezra Hinchliffe, then Mark Puttick, Darren Neilly and Downsborough, got Matt Hallett, away but he was held up. The referee brought play back for offside and Hinchliffe obliged with a well-struck penalty to make it 7-3 after eight minutes. 
Heath were coming to terms with the pace of the game and on 14 minutes Brobbey had a great run before fullback Tom Harrison stopped him in his tracks. Downsborough charged down a ball to release Hallett, Hinchliffe, Miller and eventually Josh Lister who went over in the corner to edge Heath ahead at 8-7. 
Second-row Neilly was looking strong and with Hunter in support Heath looked good, but when Scarborough’s centre Jan Tieber broke free he was able to feed wing Ratcliffe who romped over again to reclaim the lead at 12-8.

The Scarborough back line was continually breaking through the Heath defence and only a forward pass prevented a further try.

Ratcliffe increased the visitors’ lead to 15-8 and just before half time Moore was adjudged to have stolen the ball and Ratcliffe’s well-struck penalty increased Scarborough’s lead to 18-8.
Heath started the second half with Cameron Ramsden on for centre Euan Miller and play was pretty even for the first few minutes. Then Scarborough conceded a penalty just inside Heath’s half which Hinchliffe converted superbly to reduce the deficit. 
Surging runs from the front row men Rondene Johnson, Moore and Puttick just failed to produce a breakthrough.Wilby came on for Pratt and Miller back on for McKenzie, but Heath had to defend stoutly to cling on as Scarborough took a grip on the closing minutes. 

Old Rishworthians 18 West Park Leeds 23

Rishworthians gained a valuable losing bonus point from this game, but it was one they could and perhaps should have won.

They outscored their opponents by three tries to two, but were unable to kick their goals, while West Park’s Simon Towler was much more accurate.

But it was a five-minute period either side of the half-time break which really put paid to their chances.

It ended a frustrating half for the home side, who seemed to be able to do little to please the referee and saw them receiving two yellow cards.

While down to 13 men they conceded two tries – either side of the break, giving them a mountain to climb.

It was an even game throughout although Rishworthians came back strongly to score three tries in the last quarter, but it was just not enough.

They had good chances in the first half. Jioti Bakoso, Reuben Pollard and James Clarke linked well in the forwards while coach Damian Ball and centre Gerard Rollings posed a real threat in the backs, the latter almost getting over in the corner.

Lock Callum Heseltine also went close, but as the break approached the home men had one successful Joe Billing penalty to the visitors’ two.

They found themselves on the defensive and suddenly both flankers, Tomasi Tuivunilagi and Fraser Swarbrooke, were yellow-carded within seconds.

They were unable to withstand the pressure of a forward drive and conceded a converted try with the last act of the first half.

Soon after the restart they let in a second try as a flanker was able to break loose and touch down a second converted try.

Once Rishworthians were back to full strength, it became a different game and they dominated the rest of the half.

They got on top in the pack and, after a good lineout take, the forwards drove over, with Swarbrooke getting the touchdown for an unconverted try.

They continued the pressure and got a second unconverted try in identical fashion - this time Clarke getting the touchdown.

Soon after the restart, however, they were penalised for a high tackle and Towler kicked another long range effort.

Rishworthians were not finished and came back strongly with forwards Frank Watene and Richard Turner powering through before the ball went wide for Billing to touch down in the corner and salvage a bonus point.