Pontefract 3rd XV v Sheffield 3rd XV
Sheffield 3rd XV travelled to Pontefract in a confident mood following a good win the previous Saturday, however they came up against a determined Pontefract side, which was made up of a number of senior players and some youth from their colts side.
Sheffield struggled in the scrum throughout the first half, with the experienced Pontefract front row gaining the upper hand. The Sheffield line-out, however, was secure with both Rob Price and Simon Miles winning their own ball and stealing a number from the opposition. In open play the Sheffield back line were by far the stronger outfit, with Andy Logan and Brett Rhodes linking up well in the centres and consistently breaking the game line.
After early pressure and some excellent support play Tom Bishop (prop) crashed over for a try on 5 minutes, which was converted by Johnny Shaw, who was playing at full-back. Further good interlinking between forwards and backs by John Briston, who had a good game at scrum-half, lead to a try for Max Singleton, blindside flanker, after 14 minutes of play. Pontefract responded by putting Sheffield under pressure, particularly at the contact area, and deservedly scored a try of their own, making the score 5 – 12 after 20 minutes. Brett Rhodes then ran an excellent line off his centre partner to score out wide, completing the first have scoring at 5 – 17 to Sheffield.
Pontefract started the second half the stronger side and scored a try on 46 minutes. Sheffield responded well to this set back winning the ball from the restart and sending inside centre Andy Logan over for a try, which Johnny Shaw converted. Sheffield then made several substitutions, with Simon Tomlinson coming on a tight head prop and having an immediate impact by securing the scrum and Dave Allanson replacing Max Singleton on the blind-side. The Pontefract pack began to run out of steam and Sheffield dominated the remainder of the match with tries coming from Dave Allanson (63 mins.), Tom Bishop (70 mins.), Pat Scotton (75 mins.) and Tom Bishop for a hat trick on 78 minutes.
The final score was Pontefract 10 Sheffield 44, however Sheffield knew they had been in a game and it was only in the last 20 minutes that they began to look comfortable.