Late penalty try denies West Hartlepool share of spoils

A penalty try in the dying seconds of the game denied a patched-up West a share of the spoils at Driffield.

The Brinkburn side had fought their way back into the game to level the scores at 20-20 and had a chance to win when winger Eldon Myers chased down his kick through for a try which would have given him a deserved hat trick.

If we are honest with ourselves, our tackling wasn’t as sharp as it has been in previous weeks.

But his luck was out as the ball rolled agonizingly overs the dead ball line.

It fired up the home side who attacked the try line with referee Sam Phillips eventually losing patience with West infringements to march between the posts with no time left for the visitors to mount a response. The conversion completed the scoring at 27-20.

Instead, Head Coach Iain Dixon had to be content with just one losing bonus point.

“The conditions played a big part,” he said. “Driffield had the wind in the first half and we played some really good possession rugby to keep the score down.

“Both sides squandered chances to score with plenty of mistakes, and if we are honest with ourselves, our tackling wasn’t as sharp as it has been in previous weeks.

“We did well to get back into the game and perhaps a 20 all score line might have been a fair reflection, but it wasn’t to be.”

West began the game with five players missing after last week’s epic victory against second-placed Morley.

Playing up the slope and into the strong wind they played some excellent possession rugby and dominated the scrums

However it was the home side who went ahead through young fly half Will Brigham with the conversion rebounding off the post.

West continued to dominate the set piece but fell further behind five minutes later when prop Adam Coates dropped the ball close to the half way line and home centre Chris Saddler gratefully picked up to ace home to give his side a 10-0 lead.

West came back with their pick and drive forcing the hosts back and they got their reward after a scrum close to the home line which saw John Bunter touchdown with Zac Southern’s conversion narrowly wide. It looked like that would be the last score of the first half with West looking forward to having the elements in their favour for the following forty minutes.

Unfortunately for them tries either side of the break thwarted those plans.

The first came deep into an added six minutes when a home free kick went to Saddler who somehow managed to slide his way through some poor tackles from West to give his side a 15-5 lead at the break.

That was swiftly increased rom the restart when the West ick off failed to go ten metres.

Driffield attacked resulting scrum with burly prop Felix Nellon bustling over.

West were facing a5 point deficit but set up about their task with Zac Southern managing one of the few penalty attempts of the afternoon before Elkdon Myers got in on the act.

His first try came from a break from midfield which saw him gallop in under the posts to set up an easy conversion with his second giving the West fly-half a much harder attempt from wide out which was missed.

However, Southern did manage a penalty with five minutes left on the clock which levelled the scores at 20-20.

West were down to 14 men at this point after replacement Rob Thorn was sin-binned as West defended on their line and he was closely followed by skipper Dan Boatman as Driffield desperately sought their winner.

Outnumbered, West finally capitulated with that penalty try deep into injury time.

Driffield: Alex Piercy, Sam Furbank, Ed Askew, Chris Saddler, Gary Stephenson, Will Brigham, Simon Ord, Felix Nellon, Guy Brumfield, Paul Dervey 9captain), Oliver Borman, Jesse Harris, Sam Havler, Adam Brankley, Henry Forbes. Reps (all used); Olly Newborn, Simon Pettinger, Jeremy Harrison.

Tries: Brigham, Daddler (2), Nellon, Pen try. Cons: Brigham (2)

West: Luke Mallinson, Eldon Myers, Peter Youll, Greg Edwards, Zac Southern, Ryan Painter, Adam Coates, Andrew Rollins, Michael Hogan, Owen Bennett, John Bunter, Jay Corbett, Dan Boatman (captain), Sam Miller. Reps (all used): Rob Thorn, Jack Angus, Alex Barker.

Tries: Bunter, Myers (2). Cons: Southern (1)

Pens: Southern (1)

Yellow cards: Thorn, Boatman.

Referee: Sam Phillips (London)