THE battle of the champions saw Malton & Norton Under-17s edge out Sandal 14-12.

Sandal had not lost a game all season in winning Yorkshire Four West but they found East champions Malt too tough a nut to crack.

They took the lead when Ben Tenge out-muscled the Sandal defence - bursting several tackles before crossing the line. James Wood added the extras.

It inspired a Sandal fightback and they fashioned a score of their own just before half-time - trailing 7-5 at the break.

The visitors had the wind at their backs in the second half and tried to attack Malton’s line more regularly.

But the young Ryedale outfit worked hard and kept Sandal at bay with some superb defence.

Malton bolstered their ranks with replacements and took the upper-hand. A quickly taken penalty saw the ball moved wide for Tenge to cross for his second try and Caleb Barrett added the crucial extras.

Sandal lifted themselves again and, after a quick penalty, got the ball out to their speedy back who crossed for a try.

Malton held out to win, though, and are next in action in the Northern division semi-final of the National Shield at Heaton Moor in two weeks time.

Malton & Norton U14s beat Moortown 46-29 - their injury-hit side aided by four players from the home team.

The scores were 12-12 in an even first half until one of the loan players gave Malton the lead, an advantage which was immediately extended by George Austin-Thompson’s third and fourth tries.

Leading 29-12 at the break, they were then rocked by relentless Moortown attacking which resulted in three tries.

Excellent tackling, though, allied to swift counters led to two further scores for Austin-Thompson. Lawrence Blades rounded things off in style when he received the ball in space and sped past a tired defence. Conversions were made by Archie Johnson and man of the match Matthew Jefferson.

Malton & Norton U13s beat RHC Cougars but lost to Boroughmuir in their tour of Edinburgh. Cougars were bested 41-21 despite getting the first points on the board.

Malton responded well and replied following a quick break from Peter Hudson. The visiting forwards started to impose their will and James Boyes powered through after being found by Ben Edwards.

Joe Edwards helped them extend their lead in the corner but Cougars scored just before half-time and it was 17-14 at the break.

Cougars regained the lead early in the second half but Billy Johnson scored to hand them a one point lead. Josh Britton then added to the try tally - running half the length of the pitch and evading several tacklers on route - and Oliver Kelsey scored to clinch the victory.

There was still time for one more try as Fabien Marras scored in the corner.

Malton struggled in driving rain and snow against Boroughmuir. They trailed 21-0 at half-time. Boroughmuir added further tries in the second half but Malton did get a consolation when Kelsey picked the ball from the back of a ruck to score from 20 metres out.

Boroughmuir finished off by adding two more tries.

Malton & Norton U13 Girls made their first-ever away game a winning 6-4 trip to Selby.

Isabel Rogerson opened the scoring with a fine solo run. Malt then appeared to switch off which led to them conceding two tries.

They stepped up the pressure and Amy Hayhurst grabbed a brace and Sophia Stone scored to make it 4-2. Hayhurst and Rogerson both crossed again in the win.

The girls’ U13s and U15s teams continue to expand and new players are welcome down to The Gannock between 6pm and 7pm on Wednesday evenings.