A SOLID derby display yielded a 40-10 win for Sherburn Bears at Wetherby Bulldogs in the Pennine League fifth division in a tie ended early after 68 minutes following a 26-man brawl.
Taking control, it did not take long for the Bears to cross through full-back Ben Pugh, who stepped hard off his right foot to wrong-foot two defenders from 20 metres out and skip under the sticks. Scrum half Martin Leahy added the extras.
By 16 minutes the visitors led 12-0 after stand-off Sam Booth picked up a spilled ball to go under. Leahy added the extras.
A bone-jarring tackle from captain Ray Boyes saw Wetherby spill the ball followed by a deft kick from Leahy enabling centre Daniel Johnson to dash over the whitewash. Again Leahy obliged.
But careless handling allowed the Bulldogs to counter with two tries, one of which was converted, for an 18-10 scoreline at half-time.
The talk from coaches Kev Jordan and Steve Frost was to get back to the game plan, and cut out the showboating the Bears slip into when they feel the going is getting easy.
With the introduction of forward Lewis Booth, Sherburn settled into strong carries, gang tackling and an accurate long kicking game and any home momentum was quickly quelled.
Adam Wright crashed over with Leahy kicking the conversion and then, after inroads made by Johnboy Fenwick, Johnson sidestepped the full-back. Leahy’s fifth kick established a 30-10 lead.
There was no let-up. Rhys Hughes smashed through for Leays to tag on the extras and a seventh try followed from Adam Withington. Leahy’s kick hit an upright.