MALTON & Norton’s recent resurgence came to an abrupt end on Saturday with a thumping 61-17 defeat to arguably the standout team in North One East.
Full of pace, power and precision, home team Huddersfield blitzed Malton in the opening 25 minutes, scoring five converted tries to run up a 35-0 scoreline and leave the Ryedale outfit shell-shocked. Malt rallied but were again overrun in the second half and, having risen away from the drop zone since the turn of the year, ended the weekend wary of the need to bounce back quickly to avoid being dragged back into bother. Huddersfield, conversely, are clear in second behind Cleckheaton.
Malt spokesman Bill Laidler said: “Although we defended bravely, there was little we could do to hold the power and pace of the clinical home side who, if they can maintain this form, will certainly be playing at a higher level next season.
“We must now regroup before Saturday’s home derby game against Pocklington.”
Having fallen 35-0 down, the final five minutes of the half gave Malton some hope. A series of pick and drives from the pack took them to within a few yards of the home line. From a Huddersfield scrum the home scrum-half attempted to kick clear but the alert Malton back row were quickly onto him and charged down the kick to set up another maul. As the mass moved forward, substitute back-row George Nutt took command to get the touchdown.
Two minutes later, Malton struck again. Good forward pressure again took them into scoring territory and, after several pick and drives, substitute prop Nick Salisbury burrowed over to bring the half-time score line to 35-10.
The second half almost mirrored the first. Huddersfield added to their tally after 10 minutes with a try from a lineout catch and drive but Malton again had a patch of brilliance. A break involving winger Leki Atiola and full-back Ian Cooke took Malt to the Huddersfield 22 where the pack took over, with scrum-half Tom Boyle getting the touchdown in the corner, Charlie Ramsay goaling.
However, Huddersfield again raised their game and ran up the points.
Malton: I Cooke, L Atiola, P Fifita, B Woodhouse, P Angus, C Ramsay, T Boyle, P Dobson, S Thompson, E Gwilliam, M Bradshaw, S Emms, A Coe, S Triffitt, J Rounthwaite. Subs (all used): N Salisbury, G Nutt, A Daley.
l Malton & Norton 2nds enjoyed an excellent 25-0 win over Pocklington Panthers.
Pock were on top for the opening quarter but Malt weathered the storm and Kenton Leiataua put them ahead with a penalty.
Malt’s pack dominated after half-time and the rewards came as back-row Dave Cole and first-team inside-centre Leiataua, who is coming back from injury, both scored try doubles, the latter adding a conversion.
• Malton & Norton 3rds gave a fine performance in a 12-12 draw with Hornsea 2nds.
Both sides were keen to spin the ball wide to the wingers while the forwards had a good old battle in the mud.
Matty Williams returned at full-back but within 10 minutes replaced Paul Walker at 10, Walker having departed with a bad wrist injury.
Malt’s scrum was on form, with Phil Scaling, Duncan Humphreys and Tony Watson in the front row and Sean Ward and Andy Boothman adding tonnage in the engine room. The back row of Alex Machen and Dave Cash and number eight James Browne were awesome, winning the ball every time.
Centres Nigel Tench and Jay Brown caused problems but were up against a solid Hornsea back line.
Pace on the wings came from Josh Wood and Sean Angus, the latter switching to full-back when Charlie Breese took the field and, after the break, to nine.
Hornsea went 12-0 up, with the front row then asking for a break with uncontested scrums. This fired up Malt and, from a break by Humphreys and Browne, Boothman took over, setting the ball up for Lyon, who released Williams, then Tench on the scissors. Tench popped up the ball for Brown and Breese took over on a sprint to the corner.
Malt took charge in the second half, as Angus added his youthful exuberance, while sub Joe Tenge impressed in the loose.
From a Tenge break out of a maul, Josh Wood took play up to the line and, from the resultant ruck, Ward and Cash were driven over and Cash got the converted try.
Malt went for the win but Hornsea held on.