MALTON & Norton RUFC geared up for their first big derby of the North One East season by getting back to winning form.

The Ryedale side won 19-18 at West Leeds to end a run of two defeats - and put them in better fettle for the visit of early table-toppers York to The Gannock on Saturday.

Malton, having seen a few players depart recently, travelled with a changed side, having introduced two more youngsters to the squad in Jacob Stephenson and Chris Inman.

They both made valuable contributions to a team that is still to settle into a regular selection pattern.

A club spokesman said: "This performance could set a pattern for the next few games while the back division finds its shape.

"Nonetheless it was a sterling effort from all 18, the only blot being a compulsory stand down for the concussed Callum Stark."

Last Thursday's rain had softened the ground thus producing a perfect surface which was coupled with good weather.

West Leeds opened the scoring with their speedy backs side-stepping and dummying their way to Malton's line twice in 15 minutes.

Malton, for their part, had squandered chances of their own which saw them enter the second quarter of the game 10 points down.

However, on 25 minutes, following good pressure, the pack drove over the whitewash with John Vasconcelos claiming the try close to the sticks. Paul Angus added the extras and it was game on.

Malton were guilty of squandering possession through aimless and inaccurate kicking.

However, with the loyal band of travelling support yelling instructions, the forwards, realising they had the mastery of a large West Leeds pack, started to drive upfield, emulating the Exeter Chiefs style of relentless pick up and grunt.

This resulted in a try for Rob Featherstone duly converted by Angus for a 14-10 half-time lead.

Leeds hit back seven minutes into the second half to eke 15-14 ahead, an again Malton went through a period of donating ball to the opposition with poor kicking. On 65 minutes, West Leeds kicked a penalty goal to go four points to the good.

However, following a chat from skipper Sam Triffitt, Malton's forwards took control of the game again and rumbled towards the Leeds line.

This resulted in a try scored by Triffitt himself and a 19-18 lead.

The final quarter saw Malton repeatedly take the ball to the West Leeds half through the forwards, with Ben Tenge getting the message and effectively becoming a ninth forward, linking with his pack at any opportunity.

The hunt was on for a bonus-point try and repeated rumbles to the opposition line were repulsed, with one final effort being denied by brave defence aided by the whistle.

M&N nevertheless bagged a vital victory, the final score coming as a relief to Malton's hardy band of supporters.