Woodcock deprived of hat-trick as try ruled out

Consolation: Dan Morris scores a late  try for Phoenix against Bradford Slalem.'       Picture: FSP IMAGES
Consolation: Dan Morris scores a late try for Phoenix against Bradford Slalem.' Picture: FSP IMAGES

WHEATLEY Hills remain second, but lost ground on North East One leaders Billingham, after being held to a 15-15 draw by visiting Durham City.

The Doncaster side, who saw Middlesbrough move to within a point of them, made a bright start with fly-half Jack Craswell making a fine break from around the halfway line before sending in supporting full-back Johnny Woodcock for a fifth-minute try.

But it was Durham, who had beaten Wheatley at home earlier in the season, who enjoyed the better of the half and the home side had to dig deep.

They drew level a couple of minutes before half-time, after Luke Taplin had been sin-binned, with a converted try and then took the lead with a penalty in stoppage time.

Craswell levelled the scores after 47 minutes with a penalty, only for Durham to regain the lead against the run of play three minutes later.

Woodcock looked to have levelled the scores but the referee disallowed the score saying he hadn’t seem him ground the ball over the line as he was tackled following a good break.

The former Dons and Sheffield Eagles’ star was not to be denied a second try, however, and he went over near the end midway between the corner flag and the posts.

Craswell’s conversion came back off the upright.

The young half-back had a second chance to win the game in stoppage time but put his penalty attempt wide.

Doncaster Phoenix slumped to a 38-5 Yorkshire League Two defeat away to a useful-looking Bradford Salem side.

The West Yorkshire side grabbed an 18-18 draw with the last score of the game when the two teams met at Castle Park earlier in the season, but the result was never in doubt in the return as they scored four converted tries to lead 28-0 at the break.

Phoenix couldn’t match the quality of their hosts’ support play, though the interval score could have been a bit closer had they made better use of two over-laps.

Phoenix made a better fist of it in the second half and restricted second-placed Salem to just two more tries.

Despite trailing 38-0, Phoenix never let their heads drop and their efforts were rewarded by a late try in the corner by No 8 Dan Morris.

Thornensians came off second best away to high-flying Sheffield Medicals. going down 31-7 in Division Three.

Rossington Hornets suffered a 15th consecutive Division Five defeat, going down 18-12 at home to Doncaster rivals Adwick, who remain second bottom,

Wheatley Hills seconds had to settle for a Rob Edmundson try when going down 12-5 against Doncaster Amateurs.

Sheffield Tigers may well have made their place in National Two North safe when they pulled off a 31-21 win on their first visit to Preston Grasshoppers.

They scored their first 19 points without reply, going ahead with an early try by prop Anthony Ross and then two in succession by winger James Broadley. Jonny West converted two out of three.

Grasshoppers fought back to 19-14 but Broadley put Tigers back in the driving seat when he completed his hat-trick, and the visitors sealed their win when winger Pete Swatkins raced over in the 80th minute.

Sheffield ran out 38-3 home winners over North One East rivals Morpeth to maintain their push for promotion.

Fly-half Donal Collins kicked three early penalties for Sheffield, and also converted a try on 33 minutes from hooker Carl Mortimer which helped Sheffield to a 16-3 lead.

Centre Joe Cribley added a second try which Collins converted to make it 23-3, and centre Simon Tillyer’s 54th minute score made it 28-3.

Collins put his own name on the scoresheet on 70 minutes, and finally skipper Andy Kelly touched down.