Wheatley Hills brought an unbeaten North One East record to The Gannock and left with it intact after a 24-16 conquest of Malton & Norton RUFC.
However, they were given a good run for their money by a determined Malton side. The difference between the two sides was that Wheatley took full advantage of their opportunities while Malton squandered some excellent positions yielded by long spells of dominance. The only place where Malt were eclipsed was at the set scrums.
Ali Heard found the target with his kick to put Malton into a deserved lead. Malton were rampant at this stage with the forwards in particular making great inroads.
But when a player was judged to have held on to the ball too long after the tackle Wheatley fullback Woodcock converted the penalty.
Malton flanker Henry Barnes was harshly sin-binned and when Wheatley took a tap penalty Burns crashed over for Woodcock to convert for a 10-3 interval lead.
Early after the break, hooker Alex Whitaker took a quick tap and made ground before fullback Ian Cooke took over and raced 60 metres to score close to the posts. But Heard’s relatively simple conversion failed.
The visitors replied immediately, Woodcock scoring on the overlap. His conversion was also successful.
Malton were all at sea when Wheatley mounted a series of drives towards the line leading to scrum-half Barker darting under the posts.
Malt exploited the sin-binning of Wheatley’s Burns and Heard knocked over a penalty.
The hosts again struck. A good break by Cooke created a gap and controlled the maul to get the ball down for his second try. Unfortunately the conversion failed and the bonus point went begging.
Wheatley Hills were deserved winners but, though outscrummaged, the Malton pack were immense in their efforts in the loose with Whitaker and skipper Paul Dobson excelling.