Pontefract aim to repeat league win in Yorkshire Shield clash

Winger Stewart Sanderson scored two tries in Pontefract's win against Wath Upon Dearne.
Winger Stewart Sanderson scored two tries in Pontefract's win against Wath Upon Dearne.

PONTEFRACT RUFC WARMED up for this Saturday’s Yorkshire Shield quarterfinal against Wetherby at Moor Lane (2.15pm kick-off) with a 31-10 win over Wath Upon Dearne in Yorkshire Division Two.

Pontefract will aim to repeat their 36-16 league win over Wetherby at the end of last month.

They completed a league double over Wath with an excellent team effort that saw them score some sparkling tries.

Pontefract led 12-3 at the break last Saturday. They never looked back after making an impressive start.

They quickly went ahead after good work by Glen Boyd and Stewart Sanderson took them upfield.

Strong defensive play by Tadiwa Nyanjowa and Kyle Morley led to Liam Kay hoofing the ball into space.

Sanderson gathered the ball and supplied an inside pass to Mathew Bacon who made a telling break before putting in Kay for a try the scorer also converted.

The home side’s domination continued with lock Niall Sandwith carrying the ball up to 10 metres from the try line before being hauled down.

It wasn’t long before Pontefract increased their lead.

Great play by Will Storey got them moving and scrum half Callum Watkins continued the momentum before Jack Beddis flicked out a one-handed pass to fleet-footed winger Rich Dedicoat who eluded the cover to score at the corner.

Wath conceded a string of penalties which gave Pontefract plenty of possession but they were unable to add to their score before half-time.

Wath’s Jack Whitlam cut the half-time gap to nine points by kicking a penalty.

Pontefract started the second-half like they had the first with an early score.

Beddis made a break and off loaded to supporting flanker John Fradgley who raced over from 35 yards out for a well-taken try that Kay improved.

Gutsy Wath battled back and did their best to try to contain the home side.

However, their defence was soon split open again after Pontefract worked their way into the visitors’ 22.

Sanderson showed determination to finish off a move involving Boyd, Bacon and Chris Sant.

Kay’s conversion gave Pontefract an unassailable 26-3 lead.

They kept up the pressure and were camped in Wath’s half for a long spell but were penalised at the breakdown.

The home side continued to boss matters after they made changes with Ethan Potts coming on at prop and Craig Fawcett at fly half.

They were in total control thanks to magnificent teamwork in defence.

They shot further ahead when Nathan Potts joined the line and caught out Wath with a surprise grubber kick which evaded defenders and the ever alert Sanderson was on hand to pounce for his second touchdown.

Wath completed the scoring in the the final phase of the game when Joe Earp raced over for a try that Whitlam goaled.

The Moor Lane side are third in the table, just three points adrift of second-placed Old Rishworthians who have a match in hand.

Four of Pontefract’s final six league matches are away from home.

Their next league game is at Ripon on Saturday, March 4.

It is followed by a home game against Old Grovians on March 11 before successive away fixtures against Roundhegians and Sheffield Medicals.

Pontefract’s final home league game is against leaders Moortown on April 8 before they end their league campaign with a trip to Old Crossleyans on April 22.

Moortown trounced Thornesians 68-14 to make it 20 wins from 20 matches this season. They are 19 points clear of closest rivals Old Rishworthians.