YORK suffered a third consecutive home defeat as mid-table North One East neighbours Malton & Norton enjoyed a 16-3 triumph at Clifton Park.

The Gannock outfit tasted victory on the road for the first time since November 10, bouncing back from Liam Hessay’s first-half penalty with Rob Featherstone grabbing the only try of the game and Paul Angus kicking the rest of the points.

Following a great win at Percy Park the previous weekend, York were without Chris Fox and George Davies, with Luke Stockton playing alongside Dave Rhodes in the second row and Will Fordy coming in to the centres to join Sam Potrykus.

At the beginning of the game, York defended well against a persistent away attack with Malton nine Angus missing a penalty, which bounced back out off a post.

York were then able to beat back an attacking Malton line-out drive with hard work from the forward pack and, after being tested in the tight and in the open, Hessay cleared with an important kick.

On a cold day, there was parity in the scrums and line-outs and territory was vital with the hosts’ Rich Downey looking dangerous when he received the ball in space and he used his pace to escape the majority of the Malton defence before losing control of the ball.

With Potrykus solid at inside centre and tanking the ball well, while Freddie Smith also carried smartly, York won a penalty after steady attacking play and Hessay got the game’s first points on board.

Malton immediately returned fire but the home team remained stable and organised.

Hessay, meanwhile, was clearing after any Malton mistakes.

At one stage, Shane Goulding forced his man back, held him up and won possession but Malton continued to surge forward, with Fordy needed inside to make a spot tackle in the open to deny the visitors space to score on the outside.

But pressure told eventually with an Angus penalty levelling the scores.

Malton outside-centre Tom Foan went on to receive a yellow card for a dump tackle and, after a dominant scrum, York had the opportunity to score before half-time but ran out of luck, while continuing to retain possession through a number of phases.

Freddie Smith also drove forward and the pack secured the ball for Toby Atkin to distribute, but the effective Malton defence won a penalty to relieve the pressure and the honours were even at the break.

At the start of the second period, Fordy made an intelligent break to get behind the Malton defensive line and give York advantageous field position and there was sustained home pressure for the next ten minutes without any reward.

Hessay missed a penalty and there was another yellow card for Malton, who were being peggd back in their own half.

Goulding was inches from the Malton line after he broke from a scrum but he was penalised and the danger cleared.

Back to a full complement of players, Malton were rewarded for their resilience, with Angus kicking two quick penalties to make the score 9-3.

York were subsequently desperate to get back into a game that they had played a full part in, but Malton wouldn’t let up.

Featherstone decisively grabbed a close-range try, which was converted by Angus to give the visitors victory and the scoreboard a lopsided effect.

York tried to get back into the game in the remaining minutes, but it all came to no avail and Luke Stockton was shown a red card at the death.

A trip to fifth-placed Bradford and Bingley represents York’s next test, while Malton host a Pocklington team, who have accrued the same number of points this season.