Bears win top of table clash
Battle royal as top two clash
Sherburn v Tollbar 13/02/16
Atop of the table clash at Eversley Park on a bright but cold February afternoon saw some cracking rugby served up as the Bears took on Doncaster based outfit Tollbar as first played second. The game started at a furious pace and didn’t abate until the final whistle as both teams went at each other hammer and tongs for the full 80 minutes.
Sherburn played down the slope in the first 40 minutes and scored their first try 15 minutes into the game, great work driving the ball downfield from Declan Lewis, Jacob Scales, Johnboy Fenwick and Ray Boyes saw the Bears deep in Tollbars half before good hands from hooker Connor Jordan and loose forward Ronnie Roebuck saw the ball moved out wide to stand Sam Booth who expertly drew the defender before putting lightning fast centre Jordan Richards through a gap in the line, Richards cantered over from 15 metres out, the conversion was added by Jordan to take the score to 6-0.
The battle to control the middle of the park raged constantly with Matt Savage, Kevin Dalton, Scotty Towell and Paul Romans all putting in great stints with and without the ball, with the forwards on the front foot constant prompting and probing from half backs Rob Culshaw and Booth were proving tricky for the visitors to handle, however it would be a quick darting run from Jordan that would undo Tollbar for a second time as he scampered over from 20 metres out, adding his own conversion to take the score to 12-0 with 30 minutes gone.
The game continued to see saw backwards and forwards with Tollbar often squandering possession when they had the ball in the Bears half, whilst Sherburn continued to press and probe looking for a further score, the opportunity soon presented itself when the Bears were awarded a penalty in the last 5 minutes of the half and Jordan stepped up to add the extras taking the half time score to 14-0 to the Bears.
The second half saw the Bears urged to produce more of the same by coaches Kev Jordan and Steve Frost and the players appeared keen to get stuck back in, which was just as well as Tollbar came out of the blocks with renewed enthusiasm and ran an tackled extremely well in the opening 10 minutes, a dropped ball on the Bears 40 invited Tollbar to attack in the Bears half and attack they did finally forcing their way over after 4 sets on the Sherburns line, conversion added the score was now 14-6 with 11 minutes of the half gone.
Sherburn knew they had to strike back and heroic carries of the ball from Savage, Boyes, Fenwick and Scales saw the Bears return the ball from their own line with interest, Booth then took centre stage bursting through the line from half way he outpaced the defence and then just before going to ground 15 metres from the line in a diving tackle from the Tollbar fullback he skilfully released a perfect pass to the supporting winger Bryn Watson who galloped across the line for a breath taking Sherburn score, no conversion but the Bears extended their lead to 12 points.
Tollbar though were in no mood to give in and showed some great rugby of their own to break out of their half and force their way over for a second score, in the space of 15 minutes we had seen three well taken scores as two evenly matched sides bashed the living daylights out of each other, a second conversion from Tollbar saw the score pulled back to 18-12, the visitors now trailing by just 1 converted score piled the pressure on the home side as they now searched for a levelling score.
Nevers jangled on the Sherburn touch line as Tollbar piled forwards with the slope behind them and the benefit of a couple of penalties as the Bears put all hands to the pump, Booth, Boyze, Roebuck, Culshaw, Jordan, Fenwick, Scales and Layton Orford all pulling off some brilliant tackles individually and together as they repelled wave after wave of Tollbar attacks. The Bears though were not content to just try and defend their lead and attacked back with Pugh, Culshaw And Booth all being involved as Richards ended up hacking the ball to the line in a footrace he skilfully won to put the Bears back up to a 2 score lead at-24-12 with 66 minutes gone.
Sherburn continued to press looking to kill the game off now and piled the pressure on Tollbar with cracking big hits coming in from Fenwick, Scales, Boyes, Dalton and Booth all featuring heavily. The referee awarded a penalty in the 92nd minute with Sherburn pressing again in Tollbars half, the call from the side line came to take the two and up stepped loose forward Roebuck to coolly slot the ball over from 40 metres out. Tollbar through everything at the Bears in the last 5 minutes but again some excellent defence came them scoreless as the clock ran down on a great game of rugby.
Best on the day for the Bears was JP Plant Hire man of the match Matt Savage, the stand in prop forward ran his blood to water with multiple hit ups in both halves as well as chipping in with 20 tackles as he put in his best stint to date in a Bears shirt. Second place went to wrecking ball back row forward Johnboy Fenwick who’s punishing runs and tackles were simply excellent. Third place went to mercurial standoff Booth who put in another awesome performance running hard, and tackling even harder. Supporters man of the match went to loose forward Roebuck who had another excellent gamer with and without the ball. Top tackler was booth with a staggering 50 tackles.
Another tough assignment awaits the Bears as they travel away to Allerton next Saturday with a 2.30pm kick off.