Rugby union: Appleyard penalties bear fruit for Wath

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Wath on Deane went back to the top of Yorkshire One, leapfrogging Doncaster Phoenix, after grinding out a 12-0 victory over North Ribblesdale.

Andy Appleyard made the most of a dull match as he kicked four penalties to earn Wath the points.

On a cold and wet day, the game never really came to life and it came down to two well-placed kicks from simple positions in each half from the full back to separate the two sides.

Head coach Richard Hill, playing at second row, was at the centre of the win, working hard to make sure Wath stayed solid defensively.

His efforts paid off with North Ribblesdale never looking like scoring.

Wath winger Steve Mason went closest to scoring a try late on but he was denied just before reaching the line.

A late penalty kick by the home side proved costly for previous leaders Doncaster Phoenix as they were edged out 26-23 at Scarborough.

Phoenix went into the match with a slender one-point lead over Wath.

But while Phoenix scored a hat trick of tries and were still beaten, Wath won on penalty goals and Ilkley, 74-10 home winners over tailenders Acklam, also moved ahead of the Doncaster side in the table.

Phoenix took an early lead with a penalty goal by fly half Ben Millar, who proved to be the visitors’ star man when he ran in two of their three tries.

Scarborough equalised with a penalty by Tom Ratcliffe and a try by their scrum half Zybnec Schutz.

But Phoenix swung the game back in their favour when back row Chris Planchant crashed over for a try which Millar converted.

Then, Millar’s first try – although he missed the conversion kick – put Phoenix in the driving seat at 15-8 only for Scarborough to level the score before half time when Ratcliffe converted a try by centre Benji Cottle.

Yet again Phoenix gained the upper hand with a penalty goal from Millar, and they looked to have the game within their grasp when the same player raced in for his second try.

But Scarborough levelled when prop Paul Taylor went over for a try.

A late penalty from fly half Tom Harrison left Phoenix to salvage a losing bonus point.

Rossington Hornets lost out 7-3 at home against Wensleydale in Yorkshire Five.