Malton & Norton pull away from drop zone

York Press: Malton & Norton centre Ryan Lonsdale evades a posse of tacklers to score the opening try Malton & Norton centre Ryan Lonsdale evades a posse of tacklers to score the opening try

BACK-TO-STRENGTH Malton & Norton RUFC pulled clear of the North One East relegation scrap with a 20-12 victory at home to Middlesbrough.

The return of Ryan Lonsdale, Henry Newitt and George Harrison bolstered the home ranks and they played key roles in the win at The Gannock.

Malton broke the deadlock after 12 minutes as Lonsdale battled his way through some poor Middlesbrough defence to score under the posts and Ali Heard connverted.

Middlesbrough fly-half Simon O’Farrell reduced the arrears with two penalties.

In the final ten minutes of the first half, there was a flurry of points, starting with a penalty for Heard and then a matching effort from O’Farrell.

Malton fly-half Ian Cooke then aimed a cross-kick at Lonsdale on the wing and he sauntered through three tackles to touch down wide out. Heard’s brilliant conversion made it 17-9 at the break.

The second half was a dour affair and the sides could only add a penalty apiece to their tallies.

Pocklington ended well beaten away to runaway North One East leaders Beverley, who scored seven converted tries in a 49-5 victory.

Pocklington were all over the home side for the first quarter and their forwards tried to batter over ten times from close range only for Beverley’s determined defence to hold firm.

Wing Billy Hardy was unable to cling onto a Josh Britland cross-kick with the line begging, and Pock missed a kickable penalty with Nick Bennett off the field for treatment.

But, once Beverley had weathered the early storm, they moved up a gear with some quality support play that brought them two long-range tries in as many minutes.

A third score from the multi-national Beverley backs took them clear on the half hour, before another quick fire double in the two minutes before the break made it 35-0 at the interval.

Pock fought back gamely in the second half. They reshuffled their line-up and, after centre Tim Nixon had run hard from a scissors, they got the ball wide left for Jake Bishop to dive over in the corner.

But the good work was undone when they let the quicksilver home backs side-step through from the restart, and Beverley added a seventh score from a midfield turnover and swift counter-attack.

Though the game was long gone, Pocklington again pummelled the home line for the last ten minutes.

Skipper Mat Webber kept driving his men forward, scrum-half Jack Fletcher sniped dangerously from quick penalties, and both flanker Jack Holbrough and wing Bishop were held on the line.

However, Beverley’s tackling again threw Pocklington back and the home side ran out comprehensive winners.

Ben Hobson struck an upright with a last-gasp conversion attempt as York battled back to earn a 16-16 draw at home to Dinnington in Yorkshire One.

The Clifton Parkers led 11-6 at the break, but fell 16-11 behind heading into the closing stages.

Winger Billy Cakaunitabua crossed for the equalising try, before Hobson was denied by the woodwork.

Gareth Singleton opened the scoring for York with an unconverted try, but the visitors struck back with a penalty from fly-half John West.

Hobson kicked a penalty on 22 minutes and added another three points to York’s tally three minutes later.

However, it was 11-6 at the break after a second West kick as Sam Potrykus was sin-binned for York.

At the start of the second half, West dummied his way over the line and converted for a 13-11 lead and, after missing a drop goal attempt, he added another penalty.

Then came the late drama as Cakaunitabua’s try extended York’s unbeaten run to eight matches in league and cup competitions.

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