Rochdale 34 Malton 30
Dale met North East side Malton in the 1st round of the Papa John’s Cup at Moorgate Ave. A good crowd saw Dale led by Harry Hayes take on a side they have not played for several years but who finished 3rd in their own league this season.
Dale saw two early chances go begging as they won a penalty on the Malton 22 line but were held up on the line, next after winning a scrum on the oppositions 10 metre line good defence from the visitors led to a turn over and a deep kick found Malton on half way, a chip over Dale’s rush defence led to a try in the corner the conversion was missed so 5-0 to the visitors. Not to be fazed Dale were soon back in the Malton half a good break by Danny Joesbury saw the ball go wide for Harry Hayes to feed Eddie Bateman who crashed over under a pile of defenders try given, Ollie Coldman was just wide with the kick 5-5 after half an hour very even game Dale’s defence held firm under a lot of Malton pressure and after a good steal on the left flank a nice passing move from Coldman and Richard West let in Joesbury in support to score Dale’s 2nd try no conversion so 10-5. Dale were soon defending their line again and after Andrew Foster was yellow carded the visitors pack forced their way over the line to score again a simple kick missed 10-10. Dale were soon down to13 men as prop Ayrton Campbell saw yellow for an infringement in the scrum. Dale continued to defend stoically and when the ref gave them a penalty on the Malton 22 a clean take by Hayes was fed out to the wing for Pat Gillan to run in Dale’s third try just before half time 15-10 to the home side.
Malton came out all guns firing to take advantage of Dale’s two man deficit after two penalties for off side and collapsing the scrum the referee lost patience and awarded the visitors a penalty try 7 points 15-17. Despite Dale being restored to 14 men Malton broke clear again to score in the corner with the kick missed the score was 15-22. Campbell came back on and with Dale back to 15 men they began to get in the game, this time it was the visitors who saw yellow for an infringement in the line out, Coldman planted the ball deep into the Malton 22 and from the line out Dale broke forward with prop Jonny Bradley who was having a superb game just held up on the line the ball was re-cycled and West came charging through to break two tackles and score under the posts an easy conversion saw the score level at 22-22 with 15 minutes to go. Dale were soon back on the attack and forcing the visitors into a series of penalties culminating in a 2nd yellow card for an offence at the line out. So with tables turned it was Dale with a 2 man advantage doing all the pressing and after knocking on the door inside the Malton 5 metre area it was a good tight passing move that saw a battling Ollie Coldman score a well deserved try 27-22.
In a non-stop game it was Malton next on the score sheet when Dale were penalized on their own 22 the kicker made no mistake and slotted the ball over to make it 27-25. It took all of two minutes for hard working scrum half Danny Joesbury to get his 2nd try of the day after good work by Hayes and Campbell the ball was worked back to Joesbury who piled over for a converted try 34-25. That seemed to be it but with minutes left on the clock and after Malton were restored to 15 men they mounted a break away move with the big 2nd row carrying over to make it 34-30, the fly half opted to drop kick the conversion only to see the ball go wide. Dale ended on the attack again after another penalty but the ref had seen enough and blew for full time in an enjoyable match between two well matched sides.
Dale will have to wait until next week to find out who their opponents will be in round two. As a footnote it was presentation night for all the sides and player of the year was Josh Schofield for his prolific try scoring throughout the season. Dale Senior Colts were also named A league Champions to round off a great weekend for the club, they meet Kendal in the Colts cup final at Heaton Moor on the 23 /4/23 good luck lads !
David Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.