Reserves in eight try triumph

Date published: Sunday, May 30, 2010

OUR reserves hit back from a poor performance against Featherstone last time out to demolish York City Knights 48-16 at Whitebank on Saturday.

A combination of poor weather and Leeds v Wigan on television kept the crowd down, but there was a fair turn-up in the circumstances and the fans who braved the weather were treated to some excellent rugby in a game that was a lot more competitive than the score suggests.

Playing down the slope, Roughyeds led 16-6 at half-time and then went out to 22-6 before York scored a couple of unanswered tries to cut their deficit to 22-16.

A penalty goal by Mick Diveney — one of his eight goals from nine shots in a splendid display of goalkicking — gave Roughyeds the cushion of an eight-point lead in the 64th minute before John Hough’s boys rocked the City Knights with four tries in the last ten minutes.

Full-back Ross Coates opened the scoring with an Oldham try in the sixth minute after good work up the short side close to the line by hooker Scott Mansfield and scrum-half Dean Hatton.

York levelled at 6-6 when halfback Johnny Schofield took advantage of Oldham handling lapses to kick the ball on and go under the posts.

Coming off the bench, Austen Barrowclough twice went in from dummy half to give Roughyeds their interval lead and it was stretched in the first minute of the second half when Roughyeds scored a gem of a try, finished by big centre Alistair Williams after superb handling and backing up by the forwards in the middle.

A one-on-one steal by York led to their second try by full-back Sean Carmody and a few minutes later left-winger Wayne Reittie got over in the corner as Roughyeds centre Jamie Knight lay injured after a clash of heads.

Michael Cadd’s powerful driving gave York problems and when the visitors were penalised for stealing Diveney’s goal gave Roughyeds their eight-point advantage.

York kept battling away strongly, but Oldham were always the more likely side to score again thanks to their forward dominance, a lively show from halfbacks Diveney and Dean Hatton and the finishing power out wide of centre Alistair Williams, who had a blinder.

The late points spree began with another surge for the sticks by Cadd, who found Ben Mellor on his shoulder. Mellor crashed over to crown an eye-catching performance by him, probably his best so far in a Roughyeds jersey.

Mellor, Cadd and Michael Ward made sure Roughyeds had the edge up front; Hatton and Diveney played well behind their advancing forwards; and Williams ran in a second-half hat-trick up the slope.

A long-range interception provided him with his second try, followed soon afterwards by his third when he set sail for the corner direct from a scrum and took a posse of defenders over the line with him to touch down just inside the corner flag.

The eighth and final try was scored on the opposite flank in the last minute when Hatton and Diveney handled slickly to give Marc Kellet a run-in at the corner.

Diveney completed a superb exhibition of goalkicking to stroke the ball home off both touchlines to convert the last two tries.

Delighted coach John Hough said: “It was a 100 per cent improvement on our performance against Featherstone. I’m really pleased. The boys dug deep to turn things around after the previous game. They stuck to the game plan, which I had stressed was a priority, and we scored some excellent tries in a good all-round performance.”

The win completed the double over York and gave Roughyeds a league record so far of two wins and two defeats, both by Featherstone.

Anyone who missed this game and would like to see the reserves in action can do so again on the next two Saturdays. We are at home next Saturday, June 5, to Hunslet Hawks and on the 12th we entertain Sheffield Eagles in a rearranged fixture, both games kicking off at Whitebank at 3.00pm.

Team: Ross Coates; Sean Hamilton, Jamie Knight, Alistair Williams, Danny Chetwynd; Mick Diveney, Dean Hatton; Ben Marsden, Scott Mansfield, Ben Mellor, Michael Ward, Kashley Watkins, Mark Smith. Subs: Austen Barrowclough, Michael Cadd, Danny Knight, Marc Kellett.