Promotion-chasers Pontefract back on track

Pontefract's Jonny Hill set up the position for Tad Nyanjowa to grab his second try in as many starts.
Pontefract's Jonny Hill set up the position for Tad Nyanjowa to grab his second try in as many starts.

PONTEFRACT bounced back from the previous week’s home defeat against Ripon with a 25-14 win at Old Grovians in Yorkshire Division Two.

Pontefract’s structure was much improved as they came out on top on a pitch where they lost 32-27 last year.

The visitors were strengthened by returning number 10 Glen Boyd.

The game ebbed and flowed in the early stages with both teams testing each other’s defence and strong running from both packs.

The home side went ahead after being awarded a penalty in front of the posts.

This setback seemed to inspire Pontefract who began to get into gear.

They scored the opening try after 25 minutes when a powerful run from Ross Shand created a gap. He off loaded to fellow centre Craig Fawcett who looked a certain scorer until he was tackled just short of the try line.

From there, Callum Watts supplied a quick pass to send second-rower Will Godridge crashing over for his first touchdown for the first-team.

Watts converted to put the visitors 7-3 up and they soon increased their lead.

Excellent work by back rower Chris Sant and Shand paved the way for Fawcett to outpace the Grovians winger and full back to score. Watts struck a post with the difficult conversion.

Pontefract continued to pile on the pressure with Sandwith and Fradgley controlling the line and front rowers Lane, Hill and Scholey working the scrums in the visitors’ favour.

However, Pontefract were unable to convert the pressure into points.

The second half continued in a similar vein with Pontefract pressing strongly with great work from the forwards, especially from substitute Ethan Potts, making his first team debut.

But Pontefract then had a spell when they lost structure and conceded silly points through lack on concentration.

They got on top again once they regained their composure.

Boyd, showing the form he displayed before his injury lay-off, scored a try out of nothing by throwing a dummy and powering his way over the line from 15 metres out.

Grovians tried hard to turn the game round but strong tackling from Nyanjowa and Sandwith kept them at bay.

Pontefract’s pack excelled near the Grovians try line.

A strong carry from Hill saw him draw in two defenders for Tad Nyanjowa to grab his second try in as many starts. It cappoped another great performance from the young back row wer who had been stealing ball all day.

Pontefract’s solid defence gave nothing away in the closing stages as they retained their lead.

Promotion-chasers Pontefract are third in the table, six points clear of fifth-placed Roundhegians who they host at Moor Lane this Saturday.

Moortown retained top spot with a 17-14 win at Ripon.

Pontefract 2nds were without a match last weekend.

They visit Wheatley Hills this Saturday.

Pontefract under 12s completed a double over Wheatley Hills with Sunday’s away victory.

After the previous week’s win at Moor Lane, Pontefract again came out on top, with debutants Toby Cholerton, Brayden Stevens and Jasper Shepherd in great form in the pack.

Pontefract’s talented backs again stole the show.

Charlie Ash, captain Josh Byles and Bradley Faulkner scored superb tries.

Strong tackling from such as Sam Limbert and Harvey Clough helped Pontefract keep the home side in check.

Pontefract’s try scorers were Ash (five), Clough (three), Faulkner (three), Byles (two), Sayles, Cholerton, Gough, Z Taylor and T Taylor.

Byles and Faulkner were joint men of the match. Sokovs, Sayles, Ash and Clough also gave stand-out displays.

Pontefract host York this Sunday. Players are asked to meet at 10.30am for an 11am kick-off.

Pontefract will host the British and Irish Cup game between Yorkshire Carnegie and Newport Gwent Dragons at Moor Lane on Sunday, December 11 (2pm start). Advance tickets prices are £10 adults and £5 concessions. Match day admission will be £12 adults and £6 concessions. There is free admission for under 16s.

Pontefract RUFC will hold their annual Christmas party on Sunday, December 4, from 3 to 6pm. There will be a DJ, party games, a children’s buffet and a gift for each child. The cost is £6.50 per child payable on booking.