Rugby Union: Wath claim the spoils in Pontefract opener

Hat trick hero Simon Lines (centre)
Hat trick hero Simon Lines (centre)

Wath Upon Dearne came from behind against Pontefract to begin their Yorkshire One campaign with a narrow 29-25 victory.

Centre Andy Hopkin reduced the deficit for the home side in what was to be their only points of the first half after they had fallen behind early on.

Shortly after the break though, Wath struck back when number eight Matt Barrows went over for the side’s second try of the day.

Joe Bartlett converted the resulting kick to put Wath one point ahead.

It then became the Simon Lines show when the second row went over for a hat trick of tries that left Wath in a strong position.

But a late rally for Pontefract saw a tight ending when their two converted tries left Wath’s winning margin at four points.

But Wath held on for the victory.

Coach Richard Hill was pleased with the win.

He said his side are getting up to speed.

He also believes they showed how good they were in the second half of the weekend clash.

“We had a slow start and were down by 10 points, but we clawed ourselves back,” said Hill.

“It was a good performance, particularly the second half.

“Our forwards dominated play, especially the line-outs and scrums.”

Wath were beaten 31-25 by Bradford Salem the week before the league curtain raiser in the Yorkshire Shield match between the two clubs, and Hill says his team are improving after last weekend’s opening day win.

“There’s lots of positives to take forward, the performance was an improvement on last week,” he said.

“If we keep getting better every week we’ll be all right.

“Everyone is in good spirits. The average age of the first row is 21 so we’re bringing players through from the juniors.”

Hill also acknowledged that Wath still have things to put right.

But he says that he believes that getting the points - and the bonus point for four tries - is the decisive factor when judging progress.

“There’s lots of positives, and still lots to work on,” Hill continued.

“But we did the most important thing, and that’s win.”

Wath are back in action this Saturday.

They will be travelling to face Scarborough for their first away game of the season.

Scarborough also started with a win last weekend, finishing on top in a close-run 32-30 victory over Yorkshire rivals Selby.