Doncaster Knights 24
Leeds Carnegie 22
DONCASTER Knights claimed victory over local rivals Leeds Carnegie by the narrowest of margins as they took their British and Irish Cup clash at Castle Park to a dramatic finale.
The Knights dominated the second half and made a deserved comeback to grab a 24-22 win in the second round of the competition.
Leeds started the better of the two sides, Tom Barrett slotting a penalty in and they then sustained the pressure in the Doncaster 22. The visitors were soon rewarded with a try from Stephen Sostello, although Barrett missed the conversion.
But the Knights hit back straight away as the pack drove Andy Boyde powerfully over the line to touch down, fly-half Mike Whitehead adding the points.
Both teams were missing tackles and spilling the ball and it seemed as if the game was anyone’s, but the pendulum swung in Leeds’s favour once again as they attacked and Alex Rieder broke for a try, Barrett adding the points.
The Knights responded with some slick passing and Michael Noone ghosted through to touch down in the corner, Whitehead converting from a tricky angle to narrow Leeds’s lead.
But Leeds were not to be cowed, hitting back instantly for Barrett to go over for his second try of the match and a 14-22 half-time score in their favour.
The Knights were much improved as the second period began, Whitehead kicking a penalty for some early points. The home side dominated possession but Leeds defended well and it was not until the dying moments of the match that the Knights came into their own, controlling a scrum close to the Leeds try-line until the visitors began to infringe and the Knights were awarded a penalty try to narrow the Leeds lead to within a point.
Whitehead calmly stepped up in front of the posts and slotted an easy conversion as Brett Davey’s men held out for their first win in the Cup this season.
KNIGHTS: M Bateman, B Toft, O Goss, L Makaafi, J Broadley, M Whitehead, L Audis, A Brown , A Thompson (J Yeandle 49), R Burke-Flynn (S Corsar 59), S Cooke (D Parsons 59), G Kenworthy, A Boyde, D Bradford (Z Farivarz 49), M Noone. Replacements: C Hallam, M Keating, B Davey.
CARNEGIE: J Latus, M Webber, J Tincknell, T Quarendon, P Lucock (C Hampson 40), T Barrett, D White (S Barrow 49), S Lockwood (M Tampin 57) , P Nilsen, D Young (M Mustafa 57), D Hemingway, B Morris (R Rhodes 51), H Hannan, A Rieder, S Sostello (T Heaton 66).
Rotherham Titans lost their unbeaten record at home and were defeated for the second time in the British and Irish Cup as they slumped to a 22-17 defeat against Nottingham at Clifton Lane yesterday.
While the Titans came back strongly in the second half and scored two excellent tries by forwards Barney Maddison and Ben Wade to cut Nottingham’s lead to only 19-17, Rotherham had earlier failed to take other chances.
Rotherham lacked urgency as Nottingham punished costly errors. Their full back, James Stokes, put over three penalties and, indeed, struck another two after the break on 54 and 79 minutes to ensure the Titans’ defeat.