Rochdale v Malton and Norton
Final score Malton 18 Rochdale 15
Beautiful sunny day at the Gannock Maltons ground in North Yorkshire a first visit for Dale and their opening fixture in North East 2 league. Josh Schofield captained the side but his partner in crime Jake Castree was absent due to holidays. A welcome return to Steve ‘Piggy’ Collins at Fly Half a position he has commanded at National 2 level with Sedgely Park for the last eight years.
Several players from the Colts Academy were blooded and an interesting afternoon was promised.
Malton had an experienced side out and soon were making headway into the Dale half but stubborn defence by the Dale pack held them on the 22m line. Dale were soon on the attack and only a high tackle stopped them on the home sides 10m line. A poor line out ball lead to a clearance to half way by Malton. The ball now went from 22 to 22 in a flowing game with no score until the 24th minute when a penalty in front of the Dale posts was converted 3-0 to Malton.
The next piece of action involved Scum Half Danny Joesbury who seemed to have been caught high and had to leave the field for treatment to a damaged shoulder. A penalty to Dale on the Malton 22 for not retiring saw a good passing move involving Collins and Harry Hayes who went over in the corner 5-3 to Dale the conversion going wide. Collins was in the action again engineering a nice move by Josh and the backs and ending in a high tackle and a yellow card for the Malton hooker. Dale made hard work of their possession but a knock on by the Home side gave Dale a scrum on the 5m line a clever cross kick to the left wing let in Tom to score again the conversion was short so 10-3 as half time approached. Dale were good value for their lead which would have looked more realistic had the conversions gone over.
From the deep re-start Dale were back in the Malton 22 and a good driving move by the pack saw young Eden Poole go in for a classic forwards try again the kick went wide so 15-3 would Dale rue the missed kicks?
Despite lots of pressure Malton could make little progress until Jonny Bradley on as replacement Hooker was yellow carded for a late tackle the penalty was taken 15-6. With their tails up and a one man advantage the Home side piled on the pressure Dale held on until the 65th minute when after a gallant counter attack by Schofield the ball was lost on half way and a good passing move saw Malton get their 1st try converted so 15-13 with 10 mins. left on the clock. Dale were holding the line constantly now and inevitably Malton found another try not converted this time to make it 18-15 to them. To their credit the 14 man Dale side kept on battling and the final attack saw them poised on the Malton 22 when the referee blew the final whistle. A very entertaining game which Malton were fortunate to win despite all their possession. Dales young debutants acquitted themselves well and left supporters and Coach Danny Collins full of praise for their efforts. Next week its Moortown at home a 3pm kick off.
David Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.