So close for Vandals on the road

Wetherby 18 Halifax Vandals 12

Vandals continue their search for an away win in Yorkshire Four despite a valiant team effort that almost proved good enough to snatch a late victory.

Late withdrawals due to illness, injury and work commitments meant the vandals travelled with just 15 men.

Captain Andrew Murray asked his players to pull together and fight for the cause and that was exactly what they delivered.

Playing down the slope, Vandals attempted to spread the ball wide to the pacey winger Tom Crowther at every opportunity.

Unfortunately, the last pass went begging on each occasion and when Wetherby broke against the run of play and followed that score with a penalty, the Vandals found themselves 10-0 down.

As the half closed, the free running rugby from Vandals continued with excellent play from deep inside their own half led to the visitors first score.

Jim Crowther returned a kick with interest and the ball was spread across the field to Jon Isherwood who found Tom Crowther in support who fed player-coach Matt Farrar to score in the corner.

Feeling confident at half time, Vandals made the worst possible start to the second stanza by conceding needless penalties that allowed the Wetherby pack to force over from a lineout, despite impressive defensive efforts from Craig Sim, Alexei Blue and Matt Day.

As in the first half, that score was quickly followed by a penalty to leave the Vandals trailing by 13 points with 30 minutes remaining.

The remainder of the half was spent in Wetherby territory thanks largely to barnstorming runs from Ash Edmundson and Isherwood.

Sim and Dan Murgatroyd linked well from the base of the scrum but the final pass went begging.

Continued pressure eventually led to a second try for Farrar who used the presence of Edmundson as a decoy to step his way other close to the posts.

Sniffing victory but with the clock against them, Vandals continued to go close without reward.