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Rugby Union: Credit but no reward for Malton & Norton
3:20pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in Sport
Fielding a number of homegrown youngsters, the Gannock-based outfit could count themselves unfortunate not to gain at least a bonus point and, indeed, were within a minute of doing so.
Both sides showed a willingness to play exciting rugby from the start.
Defences coped well until the 10th minute. Malton gained good position five metres from the Beverley line and, from a set scrum, sent the ball across field with great accuracy.
Charlie Ramsay, interchanging the role of centre and fly-half with Chris Creber, neatly side-stepped his opposite number and touched down for a deserved try.
Ian Cooke’s conversion struck a post and rebounded out, but Malton held the early lead.
Beverley always looked dangerous when they got the ball to their three-quarters but some ferocious tackling by the Malton back row of Ali Coe, debutant 18-year-old Henry Barnes and Sam Triffitt was immense and, with centre Rob Armitage, cut down any threat before it could fully materialise.
When Beverley were penalised for a scrum infringement, Cooke found his range and extended the Malton lead from a penalty.
The Beverley response, however, was immediate.
Chasing the restart kick, they retrieved possession and wrong-footed the Malton defence to cross near to the posts – with the conversion a formality – and reduce the deficit to just a point.
But they appeared to implode, within minutes of the score, when two players were sent to the sin-bin in quick succession.
Cooke again took advantage, moving Malton further ahead, but despite holding the upper hand, and with two extra men for nearly 10 minutes, they could not break through the stout home defence.
And when Beverley were restored to full strength, and Coe was sent to the sin-bin after being judged to have purposely knocked on, they were able to capitalise when a penalty try was awarded from a five-metre scrum. The conversion gave Beverley a three-point lead at the interval.
Malton continued to fight valiantly after the break and caused a few scares before Beverley extended their lead with an excellent try in the corner. In full flow, Beverley were still restricted by excellent Malton defence and, with 10 minutes to go, the visitors’ persistence paid off.
As the home side were penalised for collapsing a scrum, Cooke brought his side back to within one score of the hosts. There it stayed, with both sides having chances, until the final minute when a period of sustained Beverley pressure on the Malton line was rewarded with a try in the corner.
It was a much better performance from Malt, who have played three of their first four league matches away from home. The back row were immense and hooker Alex Whitaker was the stand-out player on the field, covering every blade of grass in either defence or attack.
If this form can be replicated at The Gannock on Saturday against Morley the Malton support should be in for a thriller.
Malton: I Cooke, T Newitt, R Armitage, C Creber, T Clark, C Ramsay, D Cattle, P Cattle, P Dobson, A Whitaker, N Salisbury (J Richards), J Rounthwaite (S Emms), R Webster, A Coe, H Barnes (R Garland), S Triffitt.
Meanwhile, Malton 3rds continued their run as the only unbeaten senior side at the club with a 39-12 win over Beverley.
The forwards produced excellent ball for the backs with winger Jack Cranage scoring four tries and centre Simon Massey crossing twice. Adam Daley, on his return to the club after several years away, controlled events from fly-half when adding two conversions and one penalty.
At half-time Malt led 17-5 and, despite early Beverley pressure at the start of the second half with a converted try, Malt eventually broke free.