Top Sheffield duo suffer narrow defeats on the road

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BOTH Sheffield Tigers and Sheffield went close to victory but suffered away defeats in their opening league matches of the season.

Tigers, who finished two places ahead of their rivals last season, were thwarted by a last-minute try and were edged out 28-24 in their National Two North clash at Hull Ionians.

The Dore side had opened up a 17-0 lead in the first seven minutes.

Wingers Liam Wallace and Jamie Broadley crashed over for early tries, both of which Jonny West converted, and West then added a penalty goal.

Tigers turned around 24-8 deficit after West had converted a try by full-back Peter Swatkins, but although their backs looked promising the visitors were beaten by Ionians’ stronger forwards, with two of the home tries coming from driving mauls.

The decider came in the 80th minute when winger Will Heylings raced over in the corner.

Sheffield, after easing into a 21-20 lead, conceded a late penalty and were edged out 23-21 in the North One East match at Morley. Sheffield University student Mark Ireland, Sheffield’s new fly-half, put the visitors ahead with a penalty, and they increased their lead when loose head prop Tommy Marples was driven over in the corner from a line-out.

Two more Ireland penalties kept Sheffield in the hunt, and they sneaked in front when Ireland converted their final try by flanker Martin Balshaw.

But they gave away a penalty after an incident which saw second row John Dudley sin-binned, and were unable to get back on terms.

Barnsley got their Yorkshire 1 campaign off to a bright start, running out 35-22 home winners over York.

No 8 David Reed and winger Andrew Smith touched down in the first half, while full-back Josh Smith kicked a conversion and a penalty to help Barnsley to a 15-10 lead. Stand-off Andrew Appleyard touched down twice, while Smith kicked both conversions and another two penalties to help his side to win.