Rugby union round-up: Doncaster Phoenix suffer fifth straight defeat

Andy Ellis scores for Phoenix. Photo: FSP Images

Andy Ellis scores for Phoenix. Photo: FSP Images

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Doncaster Phoenix lost more ground in National Three North when they conceded eight tries in a 53-17 defeat by Billingham at Castle Park.

Within 11 minutes of the kick off the visitors were 17-0 ahead with three early tries.

It was not until the half hour mark that Phoenix pulled back a penalty goal by fly-half Jamie Lennard.

Billingham restored their margin with a penalty just on half time to turn round 20-3 in front, but Phoenix centre Andy Ellis touched down in the opening minute of the second half.

Lennard converted, and he also added the points when prop Tom Bagnell crashed over for a second try on 54 minutes.

At 25-17 Phoenix had a realistic chance of salvaging a losing bonus.

But several marginal decisions went against them, and Billingham put the result beyond doubt as they ran in tries on 59, 63, 70 and 75 minutes.

It was the Castle Park club’s fifth straight loss but there was no change to their overall 11th position.

Wheatley Hills, who will need a big turnaround in the second half of the season if they are to avoid dropping into the Yorkshire Leagues, are still firmly bottom of North One East after their latest 54-19 defeat at home to Bradford and Bingley.

The Bees were soon off the block and scored two tries before Wheatley replied.

Tries by second row Jack Calver and hooker Sam Kerry, the second converted by Owen Gillvray, kept Wheatley in the game, and there was only six points between the sides at half time as Bradford and Bingley added two penalty goals.

But the visitors ran away with the game after the turnround, adding five more tries, as Wheatley were restricted to one more touchdown by No 8 Paul Purnell, converted by Gillvray.

Any hopes Wheatley had of stemming the loss were dashed by two yellow cards, and the Bees ran in their final two tries in the last five minutes of the game.

Wheatley have picked up only three league points in 12 matches, from one draw and one losing bonus.

They are six points behind Guisborough, who have a game in hand.

Wath on Dearne moved up into the top half of Yorkshire Two with a 14-11 home win over Leodiensian.

Thornensians picked up an important 27-8 victory at home to West Park Leeds. Ross Haley, Oliver Rothwell and Ollie Cox all went over for the hosts.

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