Yorkshire Division One: York 34 West Leeds 6

UNDER bright skies and on a near-perfect pitch, York's supporters were expectant after some mixed displays this season.

West Leeds, who were promoted last season and were already second in the table, demanded respect, but the home faithful's optimism was rewarded as York recorded a bonus-point win and held their visitors to two penalty goals.

Nevertheless, the visitors started the brighter via their backs and the scrum, pressurising the hosts for the opening ten minutes and leading via a penalty.

However, York scored from their first opportunity, Marc Benson almost scoring from the first phase after a line-out following a home penalty but, after a strong carry from Josh Parker, Benson got over at the second attempt, with Neil McClure converting for 7-3.

But a fumble on the restart once more meant that York were under pressure and, after a series of West Leeds penalties, another successful kick narrowed the margin to 7-6.

York, perhaps getting used to each other after 35 players had been used so far this season, ended the half with more fluency, with the returning Tom Newitt prominent, and with a visitor in the sin-bin after a tip tackle, a McClure penalty made it 10-6.

With both forwards and backs in unison, the tanned Newitt crossed in the corner after good interplay with Hugh Nicholson, and Newitt then bagged his second try following good work by Jon Dawes and Lewis Hannibal, with McClure's conversion making the half-time score 22-6.

West Leeds had conceded 15 points with their man in the sin-bin, and York's confidence was up, even though the visitors were back to a full complement.

McClure and George Davies were matching Newitt's assurance, while West Leeds had gone slightly off the boil, especially their scrum after York introduced Will Norris in the 25th minute.

Despite this, however, West Leeds started the second half energetically, and both teams were unwilling to give anything away in the opening 20 minutes of the stanza.

West Leeds missed a penalty, while forward passes halted two York attacks, but it was their forwards who stepped up over the final 20 minutes.

Excellent carries by Hannibal and Parker won the hosts a penalty and they kicked it deep into the visitors' 22, skipper Chris Fox securing the line-out and his seven fellow forwards driving 20 metres for Parker to score, McClure's conversion making it 29-6.

With Parker, Dawes and prop Darren Rutherford controlling midfield, Newitt crashed over from ten metres out to complete his hat-trick.

West Leeds ended the match with 14 players after a yellow card over how quickly a tap penalty was taken but it mattered little in what was York's best performance of the season, and particularly the final hour.