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Number crunch for injury-hit Malton & Norton ranks
4:11pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Sport
The depth of the injury crisis became even more apparent for the visit of Huddersfield YMCA, when four more men were drafted in as cover, with the depleted ranks – despite boasting York City Knights rugby league winger George Elliott, who bagged a try on debut – being no match for the powerful, pacey visitors, who took the North One East spoils with a 52-5 win.
Laidler said: “There can be no doubting the effort being put in but, with more than an entire team currently ruled out, the cupboard is almost bare. “Sean Emms, Tom Parsons and Simon Thompson were outstanding in a well beaten side. Hopefully some of the injured will be ready for action in this weekend’s derby at Pocklington.”
Huddersfield from the outset were a handful for the makeshift Malton team. Indeed the hosts did well to hold out for 10 minutes before their guests opened their account. Having turned over possession in midfield, Malton spoiled their good work with a wild long pass into centre-field which was easily intercepted for the first try.
The Malton pack, although greatly outweighed in the set-pieces, were coping manfully in the loose and competing well in the lineouts. A sustained bout of pressure following a lineout on the Huddersfield line led to a couple of good driving mauls before the ball was switched to the backs for Elliott to cross and renew hope.
Former dual-code junior international winger Elliott, who played both league and union at Leeds Rugby’s academy before signing for the Knights two years ago, is turning out for his Malton mates prior to pre-season commitments in rugby league, and made his debut in the centres after overcoming a hamstring problem.
However, the 22-year-old has had only one previous 15-a-side match in three years and, while his arrival is a boost, the cohesion of a settled side was sorely missing from Malton’s play and, combined with some inexcusably poor tackling, they afforded the visitors a perfect platform from which to strike. The strong-running Huddersfield back row and centres were too much for Malton to handle and they added three further tries to make the half time score 24-5. The second half saw Malton put up more of a fight but the inexperience running through the side was cruelly exposed by Huddersfield, who took full advantage of the opportunities that came their way to notch a further four tries.
Malton: I Cooke, R Dempsey, R Armitage, G Ellioitt, J Bulmer, C Ramsay, T Boyle, P Dobson, S Thompson, R Featherstone, S Emms, J Lumley, T Parsons, S Stephenson, S Triffitt. Subs (all used): T Casey, N Salisbury, R Garland.
Meanwhile, Malton & Norton 2nds took “plenty of positives” from their trip to Sandal 2nds – despite going down 54-7.
Malton had a much-changed side from that originally selected, with a number of players being called up late including veteran Rob Hopkinson and front-rowers Ben Owston and Harry Wilson coming over from Manchester.
Sandal were well organised and robust and deserved victory but the margin was flattering.
Malt spokesman Chris Wilson said: “There were plenty of positives to take from the game. Good attendances at Thursday training will allow moves to be developed and, with players coming back from injury and unavailability, there is plenty to look forward to.”
Malton took time to settle and were 15 points adrift in 15 minutes, with the scrum under extreme pressure.
Harry Wilson came on as tighthead prop and steadied the scrum for a period, Owston doing the same in the second half. Malt also took the ball forward and used it well through the backs for regular periods but it did not show on the scoreboard, Sandal benefiting from turnovers to lead 30-0 at half-time.
The second period started brightly, with fly-half Nick Daley and centres Scott Kneeshaw and Paul Sykes taking the attack to the opposition while wingers George Lumley and Matthew Midgeley ran some good lines.
From a positive Malt foray, Sandal broke out and scored the first try of the half, but the visitors had got a scent of what was possible and, with Tom Lowry having a strong game at number eight and fellow back-rowers Harry Owston and Mike McCourt in good support, Malt drove deep into the home 22 before Adam Turnbull surged again and, from the resulting off-load, Daley dived over for his first try at senior level.
Despite more drives and good defence at times from a determined Malt side, Sandal bagged three more tries.
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