Yorkshire Premiership: Wharfedale Foresters 11 Doncaster Phoenix 2nds 10

JACK Johnson’s nerveless penalty with the last kick of the game saved the Foresters’ blushes and prevented them from slipping to a fourth consecutive defeat.

Wharfedale dominated the early exchanges. Initially the Greens’ scrum was under pressure but the pack, with the front-row of George Altham, Tom Jackson and Jack Wills giving away several stone, first gained parity and then came to dominate.

Attacking downhill, the Foresters had the lion’s share of possession and territory but failed to make this count, due to either errors or a lack of composure.

Their only score of the half came from a powerful driven line-out, with Jack Kitching claiming the try and Johnson missing the conversion.

Wharfedale were made to pay for their profligacy right at the end of the half when Phoenix broke through the middle of a maul to level the scores.

The second half was scrappy, with Doncaster using the wind and slope but rarely looking like adding further points.

The back-row of Matt Hall, Jake Starkey and Kitching were at the heart of the Greens’ impressive defensive effort, but attacking efforts were thwarted by strong defence or frustrating mistakes.

There were strong runs from Will Lawn, back at scrum half, Ollie Snowdon, playing out of position in the centre, and hard yards gained by the forwards, but all to no avail.

The game seemed to be heading for a 5-5 draw when the Greens’ pressure finally resulted in a penalty for offside.

Johnson made the kick into the wind from 35 metres out and the home side needed only to keep possession for the remaining couple of minutes to seal the win. Perhaps symptomatic of such a young, inexperienced side, the ball was instead moved wide.

Doncaster forced Will Bell to kick clear up to halfway.

The home support might have breathed a sigh of relief when the Doncaster full back kicked into Wharfedale's 22.

However, any relief was quickly quashed as there was no cover to gather the kick and the Doncaster player was able to touch down for the try without a Green defender within ten metres.

With less than two minutes to play, the game seemed lost and it is to the great credit of Rhys Davies’ team that they showed the determination to regain possession from the kick-off, win an attacking scrum near the visitors' line and drive Doncaster back to win the crucial penalty, which Johnson had the composure to make count.