Foresters 41

Doncaster Phoenix 14

AFTER a hard earned Boxing Day victory over North Ribblesdale, the Wharfedale Foresters returned to league action with a 41-14 win against Doncaster Phoenix at the weekend.

The match was the Foresters' first fixture of Yorkshire Premiership Conference A, which features the top six sides from the pre-Christmas Yorkshire Premiership which the Foresters claimed after winning all ten fixtures.

The first 15 minutes were a scrappy affair with neither side in the ascendancy.

Full back Josh Prell broke the deadlock. Following two driven line-outs by the forwards, the ball was worked wide to the right where Prell gathered it and had to work hard to fend off and skip by the Phoenix covering defence to cross the whitewash. The conversion was missed.

This seemed to kickstart the Foresters and another try soon followed by skipper Tom Whyte, who hit a good attacking line off Ben Parkinson’s shoulder to cross under the posts. Rory MacNab converted.

Prop George Martin emerged from under a pile of bodies following a driven line-out to score the third try. The conversion was missed.

The bonus point fourth try followed when lock Jacob Taylor crashed over wide on the right following a good series of phases by the backs and forwards. The conversion was missed.

The fourth try seemed to make the squad relax and Phoenix came back into the game and they finished the half strongly scoring a converted try, half time 22-7.

Some strong words must have been said at half-time by the coaching staff as the Foresters came out of the blocks sharply with second row Taylor grabbing a second try, carrying well from 22 yards out to go in under the posts. MacNab converted.

Following the good start, a stalemate resulted in too many soft penalties by the Foresters and a converted try by Phoenix.

From the restart, Phoenix committed a couple of needless penalties which were exploited by scrum half Will Lawn, who broke from a quick tap 15 yards from his own line. A good interchange of passes with replacement Will Bell resulted in the latter crossing wide out on the left. The conversion was missed.

Taylor scored his hat-trick when he scored wide out following good carrying by prop Jack Hirst. MacNab scored the difficult conversion to make the final score 41-14.