MALTON & Norton RUFC notched a tenth successive win but missed out on a bonus point as they won 22-12 at Hullensians in Yorkshire One.

The Ryedale side head into the league's two-week Christmas and New Year break eight points behind leaders Doncaster Phoenix.

Phoenix edged one point further ahead of Malton with a 27-25 victory over third-placed Middlesbrough.

Club spokesman Bill Laidler said: "It was not one of Malton's better displays and, rather than being pleased with the win, all involved looked upon the performance as one of letting a bonus point get away by not getting the fourth try.

"Even so, a win is a win and it is the sign of a good side which can put in a substandard performance and still get a victory.

"Once again, Malton's defence was resolute, preventing the opposition from crossing their line with some ferocious tackling from Vusumzi Dyantjies, Nick Daley and Sam Triffitt in particular.

Malton were made to work hard for a victory against a side battling to avoid relegation straight back to Yorkshire One.

Visiting Springhead Lane for the first time in a league match, Malt were without hooker James Thornton.

A reshuffle of the pack saw Mark Bradshaw move to hooker and Josh Heggie from centre to number eight, Tom Newitt filling the space in the threequarters.

The home side came out with all guns blazing and, in the first minute, they pushed Malton into a corner.

Malton contrived to lose their own ball at the lineout and, when Hullensians moved the ball wide, the visitors were caught offside and Hullensians took the lead.

Hullensians continued to press, but it was Malton who got the next score.

Newitt produced a strong run from defence to get into the hosts' half of the pitch.

Several good phases of pick and drive followed from the pack and prop forward Rob Featherstone struck from short range to get the touch down under the posts.

Zweli Sodladla converted to give Malton the lead.

Malton were still at sixes and sevens, particularly at the lineouts which are normally a strong point of their game.

Consequently, that aspect of the game became a lottery as to who would get possession.

Hullensians, if nothing else, are a good spoiling side and took numerous balls from Malton to maintain field position.

On the quarter hour, Malton were penalised for an offside offence at a scrum and the difference was reduced to one point.

Five minutes later, Malton were behind.

Heggie was harshly penalised for holding onto the ball in a ruck and was shown a yellow card. From the penalty, the hosts took the lead.

They moved further ahead ten minutes later when Malt were again penalised for not releasing in the tackle.

However, Malt began the fight back at that stage and were unfortunate not to get a score when they crossed the line but were prevented from grounding the ball properly.

Hullensians cleared the danger and went into the break leading 12-7.

Coach Chris Creber's harsh half-time lecture pulled Malton together for the second period but, as early as the fourth minute, they were again reduced to 14 men when substitute flanker George Harrison and a Hullensians forward were shown yellow cards following a minor fracas.

However, Malton were awarded the penalty and Sodladla slotted the ball between the posts to reduce the gap to two points.

With ten minutes of the second period gone, a Hullensians clearance kick failed to make touch and Sodladla collected and made a good run along the touch line.

He handed on to centre Vusumzi Dyantjies, who sprinted along the line for the try.

Malton were now showing signs of their full potential as Hullensians' discipline began to disintegrate in a flurry of yellow cards.

A succession of penalties for Malton resulted and, on the 70 minute mark, Harrison took a quick tap and made good yardage before setting up a ruck which produced fast ball.

With the home defence stretched, good handling by Malton got the ball to skipper Sam Triffitt, who was credited with the score which took the game away from Hullensians.

Ian Cooke's conversion sealed the home side's fate.

On Saturday, Malton entertain Pontefract in the quarter-finals of the Corporate Leisurewear Yorkshire Shield (2.15pm).

Malton & Norton: S Zondo, B Woodhouse, I Cooke, V Dyantjies, T Newitt, N Daley, Z Sodladla, N Salisbury, M Bradshaw, R Featherstone, S Emms, J Rounthwaite, A Coe, S Triffitt, J Heggie. Subs: (all used) J Lumley, G Harrison, D Cooke.