YORK RUFC moved to the top of the table with a dominant performance over Pontefract RUFC.

York moved to the top of the table with a composed performance that ultimately showed the difference in class between the two sides, running in 5 tries to close the game out in 50 minutes by 41 points to nil.

On a cold and wintry weekend, it was remarkable that the fixture at Pontefract was on at all, one of only a handful across the county.

York were at full strength, local boy Andre Robson, recently returned from Bedford Blues included on the bench.

Pontefract made a lively start securing most of the possession in the first quarter showing good ball retention.

Hard straight running in the centre by number eight Millard was a prominent feature but he found the York defence somewhat uncompromising.

Not to be left out, Simpson, Stockton and Goulding got through their own fair share of the defensive work.

Despite Pontefract having the majority of possession, they certainly didn’t have the territory, indeed the entire game was played in the Pontefract half thanks to hard tackling and astute and accurate kicking from Shackleton and Hessay.

It was only a matter of time before territory would turn to points. York with ball in hand always looked to have more pace and precision, presenting ball cleanly and recycling quickly they made good ground up the wings after slick handling in the back line. Shackleton opened the scoring 17 minutes into the game with a penalty after Pontefract were penalised for being off feet in the breakdown.

Eight minutes later the York scrum, dominant again, set up Shackleton who stepped left to straighten up the attack on the 10 m line, ghosted inside the defender, drifted right, and fed Atkin inside running a classic scrum half support line who went over unopposed. Try converted by Shackleton, Pontefract 0, York 10.

Mills scored the first of his brace of tries collecting an overthrow over the top of the lineout to force his way over from ten yards out. Conversion missed, the scoreboard was ticking over nicely, all was calm and collected in the York side, the game under control. Pontefract 0, York 15.

Thirty minutes played and Jackson went on one of his trademark runs, crashing into the determined Pontefract defence. Quick ball fed to Shackleton who stepped inside his tackler, put his foot on the gas and went directly for the line from 35 m out, a solid straight arm held one cover tackler off, a second getting the same treatment enabled Shackleton to scamper over for a great individual try which he converted to take the score to 0 – 22 in favour of the visitors.

The half ended with Mills getting his second try from a well-executed line out catch and drive and second row Lund getting on the wrong side of Mr. Doig the referee and receiving a yellow card for his troubles. Not the warmest day to be sitting in the bin. Half time score: Pontefract 0 York 27.

The second half was again played in Pontefract’s half, and eight minutes into the half, York did exploit the space well; simple flowing hands moving the ball across the field to Andre Robson who almost walked it across the line. A good conversion took the score to Pontefract 0, York 34.

The bonus point try seemed to take the heat out of the game and it settled into a scrappier affair.

York were clinical in the way they exited their own half. Hessay measuring his kicks to win the throw in to two lineouts with well executed 50:22s that maintained the pressure on Pontefract. Goulding finished the scoring for York. From a maul in the middle of the Pontefract 22 m line, he stripped it, picked it and scored it, taking the ball over the line and one or two defenders too, to the left of the posts. Shackleton had no problem with the conversion. Pontefract 0, York 41.