Rugby Union: Moor Road men grind out win

Wath's Joe Bartlett tries to break through two Pheonix tacklers.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Wath's Joe Bartlett tries to break through two Pheonix tacklers. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Wath spoiled local rivals Doncaster Phoenix’s play off push last weekend, as they came away with a gritty 17-12 victory at Moor Road.

Phoenix, who made the short journey to Wath third in the Yorkshire One table, saw their push for the play-offs derailed by Wath, who host Yorkshire Shield finalists Scarborough this Saturday.

Both sides had suffered back-to-back defeats in recent weeks and so were looking to get back on track, but it was the visitors who started brightly and two tries from the huge Doncaster pack gave them an early 12-0 lead.

Wath began their fightback with two penalties from Tom Quinn, but the poor weather denied either team the chance to play attacking rugby and the half ended with Phoenix 12-6 ahead.

Wath began the second half in much better fashion than the first, with Ian Barker and Martin Balshaw effectively stifling Doncasters attacks and strong running from Tom Swann and Steve Mason leading the way for Wath’s attacking efforts.

It wasn’t long before the visitors lead was again reduced, with another Quinn penalty.

And the pivotal point of the game came on 65 minutes, when strong approach play by the forwards created some space and wing Steve Mason was on hand to power over and give Wath the lead.

In the closing stages, as Phoenix looked to take back the lead, they infringed again and Quinn sealed the win for the Moor Road men with another penalty.