MALTON & Norton came from 12-3 down at half-time to bag a vital 31-17 win over Dinnington in North One East.

The result saw M&N, who have been dragged into the relegation scrap, rise as high as seventh in the table - but they remain only eight points above the trapdoor, with no fewer than eight clubs all in danger.

Spokesman Bill Laidler said: "Malton produced a fine team performance - with the pack, bolstered by the physical presence of Sean Emms, taking the plaudits.

"The defensive play of Tom Foan and Nick Rangiuira in the backs, as well as Charlie Corner, Lewis Welch and Jamie Rounthwaite up front, was also superb."

An early morning inspection after heavy frost declared the Gannock playing surface unsafe, but Dinnington travelled anyway and the weather relented enough for the game to get the go-ahead, albeit on a paddy field pitch come the kick off.

Dinnington held the upper hand in the first half, and Malton the second.

Malt took an early lead with a James Bulmer penalty but the rest of the first period was played almost entirely in Malton territory, with the hosts depleted in number for much of it due to a flurry of yellow cards.

Firstly, Rob Featherstone was sin-binned for slipping his binding at a scrum. From the penalty, Dinnington set up a catch and drive in the corner for the opening try.

No sooner were Malton back up to full strength than Liam Vaughan was sin-binned for an offence at a lineout.

Again the visitors looked to set up a catch and drive and what appeared to be good defensive work by Malton was punished with a penalty try for pulling the catcher to the ground.

In the aftermath, fly-half Luke Raduva was yellow-carded for dissent, leaving Malt with just 13 men for the remainder of the half.

Those 13 held out magnificently to limit the visitors to a 12-3 interval lead.

The second half was in complete contrast to the first, with Dinnington constantly penalised and being reduced in numbers.

In the first minute, an innocuous high tackle produced their first yellow card and another Bulmer penalty reduced the arrears.

The home pack were now bossing set-pieces and, following one massive shunt in the visitors' 22, a maul was set up and Vaughan drove straight through the middle for a try that cut the deficit to one point.

A string of penalties kept Malton in control and, on 55 minutes, another Bulmer three-pointer gave Malton the lead.

Dinnington, back up to 15, were soon reduced again when the game's fifth yellow card was shown for not rolling away from a tackle quickly enough.

Malton took advantage at a scrum 30 metres out. As it wheeled towards touch, number eight Ali Coe picked up and made ground before feeding scrum-half Bulmer, who finished in the corner to make it 19-12.

Five minutes later, Malton all but sealed victory.

Running out of defence, Dinnington attempted to chip over Will Hughes but the big back-row caught the ball on the full and raced home from 40 metres.

Malton were controlling the game, with the tactical kicking of Raduva and Zweli Sodladla ensuring Dinnington were constantly pegged back. Good chases led by Vus Dyantjies and Paul Angus meant the visitors could not escape their own half.

Malton's picking and driving was also faultless.

Sustained pressure was finally rewarded when Coe crashed over for the bonus point try, Bulmer's conversion making it 31-12 with four minutes remaining, meaning Dinnington's late riposte was mere consolation.