Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Injury-hit Malton & Norton aces climb Wheatley Hills mountain
3:58pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Sport
MALTON & Norton overcame their well-documented injury problems to put on a fine show and beat Wheatley Hills 32-17 at The Gannock.
Yet again players were drafted in at a late hour to plug gaps and take on one of North One East’s most consistent sides and regular promotion challengers.
However, a magnificent display from a depleted home pack, without a recognised second-row forward in the side, gave Malton a platform on which to display their ability.
Although badly beaten in the set scrummage area, the lightweight pack were first to everything on the field and the lineout work of Tom Parsons and Sam Stephenson was excellent.
Malton also had too much gas in the backs for Wheatley Hills, with wingers James Bulmer and Tom Newitt scoring three of the hosts’ five tries.
Club spokesman Bill Laidler said: “This was a magnificent display from a united bunch of players and all 18 who took part can be justifiably be proud of their efforts.
“Alex Whittaker, Tom Parsons and James Bulmer all stood out, but the team effort and superior fitness of the lightweight pack was the winner for Malton.”
Malton’s injury woes continued in the third minute of the game when makeshift second-row Ali Coe was forced off with an ankle injury to be replaced by Stephenson.
Undeterred, Malt battled on and, after some great handling by backs and forwards alike, winger Bulmer used his fly-half skills to dance through the defence for a fine try in the corner, and add the extras from the touchline.
Bulmer extended the lead on 20 minutes when Wheatley were penalised for not releasing after a tackle.
Malton were now buzzing and when Wheatley again conceded a penalty on the half-hour in centrefield, Malton skipper Sam Triffitt took it quickly and caught the visitors’ defence on the hop.
Quick ball to the threequarters saw full-back Ian Cooke break through and put Bulmer in for his second try.
Malton, playing some excellent rugby, were unlucky not to add to their tally when a good kick and chase just eluded the grasping hands at the end.
From the five-metre scrum, Malton spread the ball to the backs and a break by centre Pat Fifita gave scrum-half Tom Boyle the touchdown, Bulmer converting for a 22-0 half-time scoreline.
Wheatley Hills’ pack are renowned throughout the league and their half-time chat should have been to keep the ball tight and play to the corners.
Six minutes into the second period they did just that and, from a set scrum, shunted Malton back for number eight Gareth Burns to get the touchdown. Full-back John Woodcock converted and Wheatley were rejuvenated.
However, the youthful Malton outfit refused to lie down and, after losing Ben Woodhouse to the sin-bin for 10 minutes, fought straight back.
Good lineout ball on one side of the field was quickly shipped out to the other side where Newitt showed strength, speed and commitment to cross.
Both sides were further reduced in numbers following a spate of handbags and Wheatley took advantage to steal a lineout and drive over for Burns’ second try.
With two minutes of normal time left, the visitors repeated the dose to bring the score to 27-17. But Malton’s endeavour proved its worth when they won a lineout 15 metres out. Prop Simon Thompson made the initial yardage before hooker Whittaker, outstanding throughout, took up the fight and crossed for a deserved final try.
Malton: I Cooke, T Newitt, P Fifita, B Woodhouse, J Bulmer, C Ramsay, T Boyle, P Dobson, A Whittaker, S Thompson, J Machin, J Lumley, A Coe, T Parsons, S Triffitt. Subs (all used): R Featherstone, S Stephenson, T Clark.
Failure of fitness is downfall
Malton & Norton 2nd XV enjoyed periods of skilful play but were let down by team fitness as they lost 47-5 at Pocklington 2nds.
Malt handed senior debuts to full-back Paul Angus and flanker Mike McCourt and, while both have elements to learn about the physicality of adult rugby, they played well on a challenging day, Angus making a number of brave, try-saving tackles.
Sam Eddon also returned to rugby union after a six-year absence as a second-half substitute, doing well as those around him struggled to keep pace.
Malt started brightly with captain Kit Wilson making good ground and some superb offloading and interplay between fellow back-rower David Cole, second-row Eddie Everson and hooker Lewis Welch.
However, as was to be the case all day, the support did not arrive before Pock had stripped the ball, fed their backs and stormed upfield for their first try.
Malt debutant Nick Daley marshalled his troops well at fly-half and ran some excellent lines off scrum-half Harry Owston.
The second team’s potential was shown when Wilson took the ball from a scrum and made 30 metres before offloading to Cole and then Everson.
From the resulting ruck, the ball was spun wide for George Lumley to score in the corner.
However, Malton trailed 22-5 at the break, and good play in the second half was again wasted by a lack of fitness in some players.
Comments are closed on this article.