Ovenden notch derby win

Rugby League - Ovenden v North Hull Knights. Graham Charlesworth for Ovenden.
Rugby League - Ovenden v North Hull Knights. Graham Charlesworth for Ovenden.

OVENDEN are more than half-way to winning the Pennine League’s Championship title after a 20-6 home derby win over Siddal last Saturday.

While many amateur games were postponed again, the Four Fields men were playing for the second week running.

Ovenden made it nine wins out of nine this season with a hard-fought win against their Calderdale rivals.

Visiting coach Darren Phillips had a strong team out, including prolific Conference League points scorer Gareth Blackburn at full-back.

An excellent, tough contest ensued with Ovenden only 6-0 up at the break thanks to a try wide on the right from Nathan Brown and Niall Grady’s conversion.

The lead was doubled with a second converted try, stand-off Graham Charlesworth touching down.

Matty Prest replied for the Chevinedge side and Blackburn converted.

Prest looked set to grab a second when he intercepted but Charlesworth made a fine tackle and Grady kicked a penalty to make it 14-6 before going off injured.

Ovenden made the points safe with a try from Shaun Smith converted by Charlesworth.

Prop Macauley Higgins and Charlesworth were best for Ovenden while front rower Paul Long had an excellent game for the visitors.

Ovenden have nine league games left and all of the chasing sides have suffered at least three defeats.

That means they can give the Yorkshire Cup final at Featherstone on January 20, against opponents yet to be decided, their full attention.

Greetland suffered their second home defeat of the season, losing 24-12 to Hanging Heaton in Division Two West.

They could not match their unbeaten Dewsbury opponents in the second half, after a very even first 40 minutes.

Heaton showed their attacking flair in the opening stages and only a last ditch tackle by young Harry Walsh on a big forward saved the home line from being breached. However, Walsh had to retire with a shoulder injury.

Playing down the slope, Greetland struck first when Joe Horne crossed under the sticks after backing up a superb Chris Robinson break. Jordan Whippey added the two points.

Despite Greetland having a man in the sin-bin, Robinson outpaced the visitors’ defence to score wide out. Whippey’s conversion was again successful.

Greetland should have taken their 12-0 lead into half-time, but Heaton crossed for a converted try to bring them back into the game.

Five minutes into the second half, Heaton crossed for a smart converted try under the sticks from a kick over the defence on the sixth tackle and were back on even terms.

The All-Rounders could not puncture the visitors’ defence again and Heaton managed another three tries to give them victory.