RUGBY REPORT: West Hartlepool 15 Wheatley Hills 16

BRINKBURN BATTLE: West Hartlepoo (Green) scrap for the ball with Wheatley Hills. Picture by JOE SPENCE
BRINKBURN BATTLE: West Hartlepoo (Green) scrap for the ball with Wheatley Hills. Picture by JOE SPENCE
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THIS was the one that got away.

A second-half fightback by West was thwarted by a late winning penalty form a Wheatley Hills side who had threatened to run away with the game in the opening half hour.

West weren’t at the races in the opening period of the game as the powerful visiting pack dominated proceedings.

Hills raced into a 13-0 lead, but it was a complete reversal after the break with West actually taking the lead until that last match winning kick.

West coach Iain Dixon was left to rue the poor start.

“Last week at Pocklington we worked our socks off and tackled our way to victory,” he said.

“This week you would not have thought it was the same side.

“We started slowly and allowed Wheatley Hills to gain territory and confidence.

“Even when we did pick our game up we rarely looked like scoring a try.

“Fortunately, Zac Southern had his kicking boots on and we could have won it at the end.

“But you need to score tries to win games and we failed to do so.”

The only try of the game went to Hills and their 17-year old stand-off Owen Gillvray.

He finished off one of the free-flowing moves of the game after right winger Jordan Ajimati had made a lightning burst up the outside.

The supporting players moved the ball out left, where Hills had a three-man overlap and Gillvray duly coasted in.

By this time, Hills had already taken advantage of their pressure for Gillvray to slot two penalties.

Things got worse for West on the half-hour when Adam Coates was yellow carded as pressure mounted in the home 22.

However, the Brinkburn side were able to hold on and actually got on the scoresheet just before the break with a Southern penalty.

The harsh words at half-time did their trick and West finally began to get into the game as the big Hills pack tired.

Southern kicked two more penalties with Hills losing second row Dan Undy to the bin.

Southern then hit the bar with a 40-metre effort from wide on the right as the visitors conceded 12 straight penalties in a row.

As a result, Southern put over two more to take West into the lead for the first time.

With most of the play still in the Hills half it looked like the 15-13 might be enough but on a rare foray into the West half Hills were awarded a penalty from 30 metres out when a West tackler failed to roll away and Gillvray put his side back in front.

West battled away for the remaining eight minutes but Wheatley Hills managed to keep their discipline to take the four points back to Doncaster.

West: Stu Waites, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Butcher, Peter Youll, Luke Mallinson, Zac Southern, Ryan Painter, Ross Wood, Andrew Rollins, Adam Coates, Joe Rafferty, Luke Chapman, Jordan Baggs, Dan Boatman (capt), Sam Miller.

Subs used: Jack Angus, Jay Corbett, Liam Bailey.

Pens: Southern 5

Wheatley Hills: Matty Green, Jordan Ajimati, Chris Blessed, Liam Butler, James Montgomery, Owen Gillvray, Matt Poste, Sam Kerry, Mark Cahill, Anton O’Donnell, Dan Undy, Neil Dunn, Martin Balshaw, Ryan Craswell, Tom Buckenham.

Subs used: Carl Mortimor, Jamie Webb, Brad Stephenson

Tries: Gillvray. Con: Gillvray. Pen: Gillvray 3

Referee: Mark Dickens (London)

Sin-bin: Coates, Undy

Other results: Alnwick 18 Bradford & Bingley 14; Ilkley 21 Old Crossleyans 13; Percy Park 21 Pocklington 11; Rochdale 49 Northern 10; Sheffield 42 Driffield 0