Hills test leaders

Welcome return: Ollie Clark makes a big impact for Phoenix against Ripon.  Picture: FSP Images
Welcome return: Ollie Clark makes a big impact for Phoenix against Ripon. Picture: FSP Images
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WHEATLEY Hills suffered a 41-28 defeat in their North East One top-four clash at Percy Park.

Second-placed Park, rated the best team that the Doncaster side have played this season by Wheatley officials, raced into an early 7-0 lead with a converted try.

Wheatley drew level on 15 minutes after centre Mikey Hayward broke clear 20 metres out following a good backs move and touched down near enough for Guy Townsley to convert.

Park hit back to open up a 17-7 lead with a converted try and a penalty.

The visitors, who lacked several regular forwards, fell further behind in first half stoppage time as Park scored two more tries, the second of which was converted, to lead 29-7.

Wheatley flanker Byron Elliott, arguably the best forward on the field, reduced the deficit on 50 minutes, forcing his way over from five metres out and touching down near enough for Townsley to again add the extras.

Townsley was again on target two minutes later after prop Alex Ogilvy touched down following more good work by the Wheatley pack.

At 29-21, Wheatley were back in the game, but Park regained the initiative and opened up a 15-point lead on the hour mark.

They extended their lead five minutes from time with an unconverted try, but Wheatley had the final word with a long-range try by replacement winger Ryan Richardson, who cut inside his opposite number and raced around 60 metres to score a try goaled by Hayward.

A late try by centre Craig Deakin secured a much-improved Doncaster Phoenix side a 31-27 Division Two win at Ripon.

No 8 Ollie Clark, whose return to the side, along with Kerry Thomas, made a big difference to the Phoenix pack, scored a first half try.

Player-coach Dan Storey had his kicking boots on as the South Yorkshire club completed the double over their North Yorkshire opponents.

Doncaster Phoenix seconds, whose Yorkshire 2nd XV League Division Two opponents Aireborough seconds was called off, travelled to the minster city to take on York thirds in a friendly and won 76-5.

The Castle Park club, who led 52-5 at the break, scored tries through winger Wayne Barnes (3), Tom Cooper (2), Johnny Woodcock (2), hooker Dan Horrocks, flanker Will Duckitt, wing Tom Goodchild, flanker Paul Budden, No 8 Jack Makepeace.

Mark Steadman kicked seven goals and Woodcock, two.

Wheatley Hills seconds, for whom Liam Butler scored a consolation try, lost 29-7 against Selby seconds in a friendly.