Selby RUFC topple pace-setters Doncaster Phoenix

York Press: Dan Porter Dan Porter

SCINTILLATING Selby RUFC conjured their best performance of the season to knock Doncaster Phoenix off the top of the Yorkshire One table.

The Swans won a superb Sandhill Lane contest 25-15 to leave them securely in eighth place heading into the festive break.

Phoenix played the first half with the advantage of a strong wind at their backs, but it was Selby who dominated despite some big hits from the visiting forwards.

The hosts went in front on 14 minutes with a Dan Porter penalty from in front of the posts when Phoenix were caught offside.

On 26 minutes, Selby were further ahead after a marvellous try from young winger Charlton McCoy, who was given the opportunity to jink his way over the line by fly-half Porter.

Phoenix put their only first-half points on the board with a Dan Storey penalty after Selby were penalised for going over the top.

Selby, leading 8-3 and now playing with the advantage of the elements, nearly scored in the first minute of the second half, but an unforced error let Phoenix off the hook. Visiting second rower Dan Smith was fortunate to only receive a yellow card after a blatant punch on Selby number eight Martin Protheroe after 46 minutes.

Phoenix were made to pay a minute later with an interception try from half way by speedy winger Alex Hare, who has now scored ten tries in ten games.

Porter converted to put Selby 15-3 in front.

On 56 minutes, Selby hooker Sam Cruise scored his first try of the campaign after some excellent work by centre Teihana Brown.

An excellent conversion from Porter gave Selby a 22-3 advantage, and Phoenix had shipped 14 points in Smith’s absence.

With both sides tiring as an uncompromising game took its toll, Phoenix reduced the arrears after 71 minutes with a converted Storey try under the posts.

Phoenix moved to within a score of Selby on the 80-minute mark after number eight Ryan Peacey was mauled over the line near the corner.

Further pressure from Phoenix came to nothing and when play switched to the Phoenix ten-metre line, Selby won a scrum and scrum-half Neil Francis fed Porter, who coolly dropped a goal.

York moved up to fourth place with a 31-20 victory over Bridlington at Clifton Park.

York RI’s trip to Mosborough in Yorkshire Four was postponed.

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