Wath survive Phoenix flames

Yorkshire Three

WATH overcame a tough local derby clash at Rotherham Phoenix to move 18 points clear at the top of Yorkshire Three.

Though they beat Phoenix by a wider margin than they did earlier in the season, the clash proved a much tougher test with Rotherham leading twice in the first half and threatening to bring an end to the remarkable winning run.

They appeared to be more fired up than Wath and their game tactics ensured Wath could not get the quick ball they have enjoyed playing with of late.

While Wath showed glimpses of what they can do, a lack of precision hampered their efforts.

Wath did however eventually get into the swing of things with a try.

A driving maul was set up and the Wath pack – against their biggest opposition of the season – managed to force its way over the line for prop Dean Hardcastle to grab the plaudits.

Phoenix made Wath pay for the high penalty count with kicks from Tom Jenkinson coming from all angles to give them the lead.

The power of the Wath forwards again played them in with Hardcatle adding a second to carry a 12-6 lead into the break.

A regrouping at the break saw Wath come out determined to maintain their unbeaten season.

And the half could not have started better with centre Steve Mason pouncing on a wayward Rotherham pass on the half way line and accelerating away from the opposition.

Wath turned things up a gear and enjoyed the majority of territory and possession.

While the game became a little scrappy, credit must go to Phoenix who held out under considerable pressure.

Two further penalties were slotted over by Phoenix fly half Jenkinson.

However the best move of the match sealed Wath their 12th bonus point in 13 games.

Back row Joe Earp set off on a powerful run as Rotherham found it difficult to stop him.

When he was eventually hauled down, the ball was moved quickly down the line, allowing Mason to go over for his second.

Wath will be confident of making it 14 wins from 14 this weekend when they host struggling Old Otliensians on Saturday.

The Development XV also overcame local opposition in Dinnington as two tries from centre Robert Booth and one from full back Don Theaker saw them win 22-0.