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Late loss exposes Malton & Norton’s frailties
3:11pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in Sport
The Ryedale side trailed 22-10 at half-time but fought back superbly to lead 23-22 in the final quarter of the game, only to let it slip in the closing 10 minutes.
In flashes, Malt showed great vision and invention to create a hat-trick of tries for winger Tom Newitt, but at other times the side’s serious limitations were cruelly exposed. They stay third bottom in the table.
With five minutes gone, Malt broke from defence and made ground to almost halfway with some slick handling.
Had the final pass been better timed, flying wing Newitt would almost certainly have scored – but the pass found a Cleckheaton winger for a converted interception try.
That inspired a Malton fight-back and they enjoyed a 10-minute purple patch in which Charlie Ramsay, inset, reduced the arrears with a penalty when Cleck were penalised at a ruck.
From the restart, the visitors again struck. A good break by Rob Armitage was carried on by Ryan Lonsdale, who strolled through the defence before handing on to Newitt, who raced over from 30 metres for the first of his hat-trick. Ramsay goaled and Malton had the lead, but they were conceding too many penalties and Cleckheaton took advantage. From a lineout, they set up several phases of play to suck in the Malton defence before spreading the ball wide to score in the corner. A fine kick gave them a 14-10 lead. The home side kicked another penalty and, with half-time looming, a second suicidal Malt pass failed to find its target and the cost was another interception try.
The second half began with a Cleck sin-binning and Ramsay slotted home the penalty for a rejuvenated Malt.
The forwards, with Paul Dobson and Alex Whittaker in the lead, produced some powerful drives before Ramsay received the ball 20 metres out and made a half-break before putting Newitt over in the corner for his second try. Malt broke through again five minutes later. Taking the ball against the head at a set scrum, Malt found Newitt and he cleverly chipped over the defence before winning the foot race to regather and touch down a brilliant solo try. That gave Malt a one-point lead and they should have gone on to claim the spoils, but again their Achilles heal was the amount of penalties conceded. On 70 minutes, Cleck again put a neat kick into the corner and a clean catch and drive produced the inevitable try.
In the closing minutes both sides strove for the winner and, with seconds left, Cleckheaton sealed victory with a sweet drop goal from 30 metres to leave Malton with only a losing bonus point.
Club spokesman Bill Laidler said: “There is talent in this young Malton side and there is much to admire in the rugby they play. “However, they must now learn the art of closing games out and holding onto what they have at crucuial stages of games.”
On Saturday, Malton entertain Durham City at The Gannock.
Malton: I Cooke, T Newitt, R Armitage, B Woodhouse (T Clark), R Lonsdale, C Ramsay, D Cattle, P Dobson, A Whittaker, N Salisbury, J Rounthwaite (S Emms), R Webster, A Coe, H Barnes, S Triffitt.