Tigers take the bragging rights on big derby day

Peter Swatkins of Sheffield Tigers RUFC 1st XV races past Joe Cribley of Sheffield RUFC
Peter Swatkins of Sheffield Tigers RUFC 1st XV races past Joe Cribley of Sheffield RUFC
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Sheffield Tigers, the National Three North leaders, denied their local rivals what would have been a deserved bonus when they held on for a 17-7 win in their derby clash at Abbeydale Park.

The Dore Moor side, who are now 16 points clear at the head of the table, went ahead after just four minutes when former Sheffield fly-half Mark Ireland slotted over a penalty goal.

It was stalemate for half an hour until Tigers scrum-half Ryan Holmes touched down for the opening try which Ireland converted to give the visitors a 10-0 interval lead.

A quarter of an hour into the second half Sheffield reduced the gap to 10-7 when winger Gareth Morley raced over and full-back Joe Cribley converted from the touchline.

Another former Sheffield player, winger Liam Wallace, restored the margin for Tigers, Ireland again doing well to convert. Another score would have seen Sheffield pick up a losing bonus, but they were unable to turn late pressure into points.

The Abbeydale side have slipped to fourth position in the league as Wirral moved up to second place with a 24-10 win at Firwood Waterloo, previously Tigers’ closest challengers.

Dinnington gave themselves some Christmas cheer when they moved back into the top half of North One East with a 49-14 home victory over Northern.

After a shaky start which saw them concede two early tries to go 7-0 and then 14-7 down, Dinnington turned round 17-14 ahead and steamrollered the opposition with a nine-try display to move up from eighth to fifth position in the league.

Second row forward Gary Woodcock and prop John Marshall scored two tries apiece, and there were others from winger Rob Lievers, replacement winger Awly Trueman, stand-off Jonny West, flanker Tom Doughty and No 8 Ryan Donnelly.

West added just two conversions from nine attempts in the difficult swirling wind.

Barnsley slipped a place in Yorkshire Two when they were defeated 21-10 at Ripon.

The visitors were caught cold, conceding 16 points before pulling back a penalty by centre Greg Colbridge on 38 minutes, but after turning round 21-3 down they had the better of the second half with a converted try by full-back Will Smith, converted by Colbridge.

A young Wath on Dearne side struggled with the physical strength of experienced visitors as they lost 5-16 to Old Rishworthians in Yorkshire Two.

Wath tried to get a foothold in the game, scoring through Anthony Barratt at 8-0 down but couldn’t find a way through again.

Stocksbridge and Rotherham Phoenix battled out an 8-8 draw in their Yorkshire Three clash, while in Yorkshire Four Sheffield Oaks lost 10-13 at home against Wensleydale, and Mosborough were beaten 29-7 at Leeds Corinthians.