Depleted Wheatley pipped by student side

Try record: Johnny Woodcock.
Try record: Johnny Woodcock.
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INJURY-hit Wheatley Hills dropped to fourth in North East One after losing 28-24 away to Team Northumbria.

The Doncaster side were without forwards Andrew Penno, Lee Plevey and Luke Taplin and winger Jamie Webb - all injured in their previous game - and prop Alex Ogilvy and goal-kicking fly-half Guy Townsley, both unavailable.

They were forced to call-up four of their Under-19s side - two of whom, Steve Tijanic and Sam Kerry, started the game.

The young student side drew first blood when converting a third-minute penalty after the visitors had strayed offside.

There was little between the two sides before winger Ryan Richardson opened Wheatley’s account on 20 minutes after winning the race to Mickey Hayward’s kick and jinking inside a defender.

Hayward, who took over the kicking duties in Townsley’s absence, tagged on the conversion.

The home side cut the deficit to just one point with a 25th minute penalty.

Scrum-half Ian Barker stretched Wheatley’s lead on the half-hour after darting over from the back of a ruck close to the line.

The home side also grabbed an unconverted try to leave just one point separating the two sides at the break.

They added a second try, this time it was converted, on 55 minutes to open up an 18-12 lead. Wheatley closed the gap to 18-17 with an unconverted try by winger Tom Barker, who beat his marker to the ball after kicking through.

A third penalty saw the home team open up a four-point gap on 64 minutes.

Wheatley got their noses back in front on 70 minutes, leading try-scorer Gaz Burns driving over from a quickly-taken tap penalty near enough to the posts for Richardson to tag on the extras.

The home side camped in the Wheatley 22 for the final ten minutes but they looked like being denied a match-winning score by some resolute defence before grabbing an 80th minute converted try.

Doncaster Phoenix slumped to their biggest defeat of the season, going down 57-0 away to Yorkshire League Two rivals Skipton.

The game was as good as up at half-time for the Castle Park side, who trailed 26-0.

Virtually every defensive mistake by the visitors was punished and all but two of their tries featured a missed tackle. The South Yorkshire side were nowhere near as clinical when they got into Skipton’s 22 with handling mistakes invariably spoiling try-scoring opportunities.

Thornensians had to settle for a consolation try in a 25-5 Division Three derby defeat at home to Goole.

Adwick lost 43-14 at home to high-flying Division Five visitors Wetherby.

Rossington Hornets lost 18-0 at Rawmarsh.

Former Dons star Johnny Woodcock, currently on Sheffield Eagles’ books, scored what is believed to be a club-record seven tries in Doncaster Phoenix seconds’ 71-12 Yorkshire 2nd XV League Division Three win at Otliensians seconds.