Wath pass biggest test of season with York victory

Wath 8944- 22year old Number 8 Jason Wignell against York
Wath 8944- 22year old Number 8 Jason Wignell against York

Wath RUFC passed their biggest test of the Yorkshire One season so far on Saturday, with an impressive win over leaders York.

York arrived at Moor Road with only one defeat to their name - the previous week, against Doncaster Phoenix - and Wath heaped on the misery, condemning them to a 19-3 defeat that knocked them off top spot.

Wath moved up to third, behind Scarborough and Phoenix, and should consolidate that strong position with a victory at new boys Acklam this weekend.

Despite the poor conditions at Moor Road, a large crowd gathered for Saturday’s game and they were rewarded with a display of smart rugby from the home side.

They witnessed the visitors take an early lead, however, when a 15th-minute penalty was converted with ease.

York went a man down shortly after, however, when their outside flanker was forced to take a ten-minute break for punching, and Wath soon made their numerical advantage count.

Scrum half Joe Bartlett swivelled his way clear of the defence and headed towards the line.

Full back Ian Barker was in close support and came close to scoring, and in the ensuing play York infringed at the ruck and Andy Appleyard stepped up and landed the penalty kick.

Wath continued to dominate the possession stats and once again this resulted in an easy three points for Appleyard - following another ruck infringement - which saw Wath go 6-3 ahead.

The visitors had the chance to level the scores just before half time but the attempt drifted wide.

Wath began the second half on the front foot and went close to scoring several times with surging runs, only to see the ball fumbled at crucial stages.

But they pressed on, and Appleyard landed his third penalty after 50 minutes to further extend Wath’s lead.

This brought the visitors to life, and for the next 20 minutes Wath were forced to defend resolutely from waves of attack from York.

One such attack saw a strong driving maul which resulted in a yellow card for Number 8 Jason Wignell, but Wath still stood strong despite their disadvantage in numbers.

Eventually, Wath earned a turnover in possession, worked their way up field and landed another penalty.

And with the clock ticking, Wath made sure of the win with a try.

A lineout just inside the York 22 saw gave Martin Balshaw the ball in hand, and the hard working back row burst through a tackle and turned on the afterburners.

Balshaw slid for the line five metres out, and momentum carried him home for an outstanding try with Appleyard landing a difficult conversion.