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Hat-trick of wins puts Selby RUFC top of the Yorkshire Two tree
9:54am Monday 17th September 2012 in Sport
IN-FORM Selby RUFC are the early pacesetters in Yorkshire Two after their third successive win – a 36-16 victory at Ripon.
The opening exchanges were fairly even and Ripon forged ahead with a first-minute penalty from fly-half Guy Watkinson that was cancelled out by opposite number Josh Cruise five minutes later.
Cruise then gave Selby the lead with a superb 45-metre effort and, although Ripon kicked a second penalty after 26 minutes, the Swans bagged the first try of the game through captain and hooker Duncan Hardy. Cruise converted for a 13-6 half-time lead.
After the break, Cruise kicked another penalty and scrum-half Jack Daniels touched down his first try for the club.
Watkinson kicked his third penalty, but that was matched by Cruise.
Selby stretched their lead with a top try by winger Ben Lunt on 65 minutes.
Substitute hooker Josh Greenfield also crossed and Cruise converted on 76 minutes to seal the points despite a late consolation try for Ripon winger Ben James in the last minute.
York were 25-18 winners at Dinnington as they got a win on the board at the third attempt in Yorkshire One.
Meanwhile, Malton failed to capitalise on a strong start as they lost 36-25 at Middlesbrough in North One East.
Middlesbrough conceded a string of early penalties and Ali Heard converted the second after two minutes to put Malton into the lead. The hosts drew level a few minutes later but Malton bossed the opening exchanges and, on 15 minutes, Heard and full-back Ian Cooke combined to send wing Henry Newitt over the line.
Heard converted and within five minutes the gap was increased. A tap penalty was taken by Tom Newitt and he handed on to brother Henry. He was stopped just short of the line and the ball was scrambled into touch, but scrum-half Dan Cattle took a quick throw and second-row Rich Webster had the simple task of touching down for a 15-3 lead.
That advantage was erased by a penalty and a converted try and, although Malt fly-half Charlie Ramsay sent Cooke over in the corner, the home side closed to 20-18 at the break.
Heard’s strong run produced a try in the corner at the start of the second half, but then Middlesbrough took over with three tries and a penalty to take the points.
Pocklington turned in an immense effort at home to leaders Beverley in North One East but went down to a 14-11 defeat.
At times in the first half, homegrown Pocklington looked to be hanging on against Beverley’s Southern Hemisphere backs who kept spreading it wide.
But Pocklington’s strong second-half performance left them disappointed that they did not get more than a losing bonus point, especially as they gifted Beverley their points as both visiting tries came from home errors.
Beverley’s backs looked sharper in the early stages but Pocklington’s strong tackling held them out until Beverley skipper and fly-half Junior Tupai charged down a Pocklington kick near halfway in the 24th minute and strolled under the posts for a try that Lee Birch converted.
Pocklington were stretched to stop Beverley adding to their lead, before home full-back Nick Bennett kicked a penalty as the interval approached.
When Pocklington stepped up in the second half, a slick inside pass from scrum-half Ben Rees sent outstanding flanker Jack Holbrough charging 20 yards to the line.
Bennett’s second penalty at the end of the third quarter made it 11-7 and Pocklington were looking good as they launched an incisive back-row attack into the Beverley 22. But Pocklington then threw a wild pass that went straight to a Beverley player and an 80-yard counter-attack initiated by centre Sam Atiola saw Birch score in the corner and convert.
Pocklington had the better of the closing stages and tried hard to get back on terms. The game could have gone either way, but Beverley’s defence held out and a penalty from the last play of the day enabled them to kick for touch to end relieved winners and maintain their unbeaten strat to the season.