RUTHLESS Malton & Norton rattled up a half-century of points for the second successive game in North One East.
Fresh from their 62-26 victory at basement side Durham City, the Ryedale side dismissed second-from-bottom Darlington 53-12 at The Gannock on Saturday.
Club spokesman Bill Laidler said: “This was another good performance, with all 18 players doing their bit.
“The stars are obviously the backs but the performances of some of the forwards, notably Rob Featherstone, Simon Thompson and Dan Johnson, shows that there is some depth and competition for places.
“The only worry is that without some of our experienced lineout specialists, there is a problem in that department. That will be addressed as all other minor points have been during the season.
“There is now something of a cushion between us and those occupying the relegation spots. However, there is no room for complacency and we will have to be on our mettle on Saturday when we entertain Cleckheaton at The Gannock."
The writing was on the wall for visitors Darlington after only three minutes, when they trailed 12-0 having kicked off.
From the first whistle, three rucks in succession produced quick ball for Malt and centre Ryan Lonsdale ploughed through two defenders to score from 30 metres.
From the restart, a break by wing Kenton Leiataua took him to halfway and he handed on to full-back Tom Newitt to score under the posts. Ian Cooke converted.
Henry Newitt went close to scoring on 13 minutes, but the hosts crossed again on 20 minutes when scrum-half Tom Boyle whipped the ball to Lonsdale and he sent Leiataua in beneath the posts. Cooke converted.
Darlington's dubious tactics brought a succession of penalties for the home side, who were able to keep up the pressure with some telling touch kicks from fly-half Chuck Ramsay.
On the half hour, Malton were awarded a scrum from a lineout 20 metres from the Darlington line and good handling resulted in Leiataua going in again.Darlington were again caught napping at the restart as Malton raced away to score, with Tom Newitt handing on to brother Henry Newitt for a try Cooke converted for a 31-0 lead.
Darlington clawed back a converted try on the stroke of half-time.
However, Malton again scored from the kick-off, with a strong run along the touchline by Leiataua setting up the position for Lonsdale to cross untouched.
The hosts fielded the restart and flanker Sam Triffitt shrugged off almost the entire visiting pack before feeding substitute flanker George Harrison for a try.
When Darlington were penalised under their own posts, Malton opted for a scrum and Boyle got good ball to his backs for Tom Newitt to cross.
Darlington scored an unconverted try midway through the half and then Harrison was shown a yellow card. However, Malton had the final say when Ramsay set off on a defence-splitting break before throwing out a long pass to second-row Jamie Rounthwaite, who collected the try his superb performance merited.
James Bulmer added the conversion with the last kick of the game.
Malton: T Newitt, K Leiataua, R Lonsdale, I Cooke, H Newitt (J Bulmer), C Ramsay, T Boyle, P Dobson (D Johnson), S Thompson, R Featherstone, S Emms, J Rounthwaite, G Ramsay, H Barnes (G Harrison), S Triffitt.
Malton & Norton 2nds lost 62-5 at Wharfedale but will not be too disheartened by such a defeat to the best side in their division.
The game was more competitive than the scoreline suggests, though one key difference was Wharfedale’s ruthlessness in finishing opportunities.
Malt responded to going a try down as number eight Adam Turnbull, ably assisted by flankers George Barker and Tom Parsons, forced play into the home 22 where slick handling by the backs, particularly centre Ali Heard, saw a gap created for full-back James Dempsey to score.
But Wharfedale tightened their game and upped the intensity to the point where the less fit characters struggled to reach the breakdowns and assist the drives. They also doubled up on Malt’s dangerman, Heard.
Wharfedale were somehow awarded a penalty try at a scrum and another try stood despite an apparent forward pass for a 21-5 half-time scoreline.
Malt at times made ground after the interval but could not break through completely, whereas Wharfedale had enough pace in certain individuals to make their attacks count.