Wath lose top spot after poor start against rivals

Martyn Bray celebrates as he touches down a try for Wath-upon-Dearne.  Picture: Liz Mockler S1028LM
Martyn Bray celebrates as he touches down a try for Wath-upon-Dearne. Picture: Liz Mockler S1028LM

Wath RUFC became the second promotion-chasing side from Yorkshire One to falter against Dinnington last weekend, after a 24-17 defeat.

Wath climbed to the top of the Yorkshire One table the previous weekend after Dinnington beat Doncaster Phoenix.

But Wath’s defeat, together with Phoenix’s 22-18 win against North Ribblesdale, saw the Moor Road men surrender their lead at the summit.

Wath did take away some consolation from Lodge Lane after registering a losing bonus point, and even that seemed unlikely at one stage when their South Yorkshire rivals racked up 17 early points without any reply from Wath’s high-flyers.

Around the 25 minute mark Wath finally woke up, and a series of powerful runs by the pack resulted in lock Richard Hill crashing over.

The resulting conversion stirred a bit of controversy as one touch judge awarded and one touch judge didn’t.

The referee ultimately decided on the latter.

The Dinnington pack has a wealth of experience but this did not deter Wath, who dominated the vast majority of the scrums throughout the game.

The second half needed a much more proactive response from Wath, and on 50 minutes they had cut the deficit to seven points when scrum half Joe Bartlett sneaked over.

The final stages of the game saw Wath chasing and, somewhat against the run of play, Dinnington gained possession.

Their powerful centre crashed over, to make Wath’s task almost impossible with ten minutes remaining.

The lead was dragged back to just seven, when inside centre Martyn Bray ran a good angle and sprinted through a gap in midfield to score.

And the final minutes of the match saw Wath edge close: breaks from Appleyard and Balshaw threatened, but the strong Dinnington defence held out and earned the deserved victory.

Wath now look forward to next week, at home against North Ribblesdale, and the main focus will certainly be to have a considerably better start than this week.

When they did find their stride they were able to play some good rugby, but a 17 point deficit inside the first quarter is almost impossible to claw back.

Elsewhere on Saturday the Development XV game against Dinnington was abandoned due to a serious injury to a Dinnington player.

“Our best wishes for a speedy return go to the injured player, from all at Wath,” a club spokesperson said.

The Third XV slipped to a tough 12-7 defeat and the Under 16s were overcome 24-5 against Old Brodleians.

The Under 14s continued their unbeaten start to the season and beat Otley away 35-15.