Small steps for Wath as they go top of the league

Wath v Old Otliensians. Brett Small on a charge.  Picture: Neil License
Wath v Old Otliensians. Brett Small on a charge. Picture: Neil License

Wath on Dearne went top of Yorkshire One after running in eight tries on their way to a 49-21 home victory over Bridlington.

They replaced Doncaster Phoenix at the summit who suffered a shock home defeat to Dinnington.

Wath took the game straight to Bridlington, scoring tries through winger Brett Small, second row Simon Lines and scrum half Joe Bartlett before the visitors opened their account.

Going 17-0 behind seemed to spark them into life, and they got on the scoresheet when a five-metre line-out couldn’t be stopped and they powered over.

Andrew Appleyard converted Bartlett’s try and added a penalty goal just before half time as Wath turned round 20-14 ahead, after Bridlington’s centre burst through a tackle and raced over to score.

Wath remained patient, however, and in the second half they increased their lead to 39-14 before Bridlington scored again.

Winger Tom Quinn touched down for Wath’s bonus point try, and prop Brendan Angell bulldozed his way over the line for a 32-14 lead.

Centre Andy Hopkin was the next one over for the first of his two tries, just about managing a 40-metre sprint to the line, and Martyn Bray completed a similarly marathon sprint for a try of his own shortly after.

Hopkin’s second try was the last play of the match, after a superb run from Small.

“We had a few players unavailable on Saturday,” said defence coach and scrum half Joe Bartlett.

“But it was great to see our strength in depth put to the test, and we were able to still get a good win.”

Phoenix lost their lead at the top when they were edged out 15-13 by mid-table Dinnington at Castle Park.

The hosts started on the wrong foot when they conceded a converted try after only seven minutes.

However, they fought back to turn round level when former Doncaster Knights star Chris Planchant scored a try on 23 minutes, Dan Storey converting.

Storey landed a drop goal four minutes into the second half to put Phoenix in front but Dinnington levelled again with a penalty 11 minutes later.

Storey’s penalty goal put the home side back on top, but the the crucial score came after 70 minutes when Dinnington crossed for an unconverted try near the corner flag.

Wath, who face Dinnington this weekend, now lead Phoenix by three points at the top of the league table.

Old Brodleians and York are joint third, with 27 points.

Phoenix travel to North Ribblesdale this weekend, whilst Old Brodleians face Scarborough. York are set to host Ilkley.