On-form Sheffield denied by last-gasp try in derby showdown

On the ball: Sheffield scrum half Matt Poste sets up an attack against Wheatley Hills.
On the ball: Sheffield scrum half Matt Poste sets up an attack against Wheatley Hills.
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How times change. At the beginning of the season Sheffield would probably have taken a share of the points in their South Yorkshire derby showdown at Wheatley Hills.

The fact that there was huge disappointment in the Sheffield camp after a 15-15 draw at York Road last Saturday says it all about Andy Kelly’s rejuvenated side.

Sheffield have performed well in their first season in North One East as their fourth-placed spot clearly shows plus they’d already beaten the Doncaster side at Abbeydale on the opening day of the season, so a double was very much within their grasp.

It was not to be as a last gasp converted try denied them full points over their third-placed rivals and the chance to close the gap at the top.

However, this match could have gone either way and a draw was probably the fairest result, depending on which side of the county line you happen to be on!

Sheffield had the better of the first half after stand off Donal Collins had given them a 9-0 lead at half time courtesy of two penalties and a drop goal.

The latter penalty had come after Wheatley’s Johnny Woodcock had hit a post with a 40 yard penalty attempt when from the resultant play, Ryan Guest knocked on and Wheatley were penalised at the ensuing ruck.

The home side made a telling change at fly half just after the break and Woodcock sank a penalty in the 47 minute to close the gap.

Five minutes later centre Mike Hayward touched down for an unconverted try and it was very much game on. Sheffield recovered their composure and edged their way ahead again with penalties on 60 and 73 minutes to open up a 15-8 lead. From then on Wheatley dominated possession but the dismissal of Martin Balshaw, for playing the ball on the ground at the breakdown, in time added on, was to prove critical.

Home centre Luke Taplin took a short pass to score to the right of the posts and Jack Craswell added the conversion which was followed by the referee blowing for time.

Sheffield: Joe Cribley, Ewan Reed (James Montgomery 67), Simon Tillyer, Dave McCabe, Alex Hill, Donal Collins, Matt Poste, Tommy Marples, Carl Mortimer, Ramzey Adamo (Chris Machen 71), John Dudley (Soloman Prestage 59), Tom White, Dave Ellis, Laurence Thomas, Andy Kelly (capt).