But a win nonetheless
Wath Upon Dearne RUFC returned to action following the festive season and came away with a hard fought win away at Selby. The Moor Road men eventually came away 30-22 winners although they were made to work very hard by a determined and pacey Selby side. The home side enjoyed much of the early possession and territory as Wath took a while to acclimatize, Selby would miss a penalty attempt following this pressure. The game for the next period was played pretty much on the half way line until Captain and Man of the Match Matt Burrows broke the dead lock with a powerful burst in midfield. The number 8 popped to supporting centre Andy Hopkin who made good ground before floating a pass to wing Brett Small. However just metres from the line the Selby cover defence was impressive and forced Small into touch. Selby were consistently testing Wath with high kicks which for the most part were well fielded. On half way the ball was shipped down the back line with a number of long range passes creating a considerable gap in the Selby midfield. Centre Steve Mason took full advantage of this turning on the after burners for a sublime break, he timed his pass well and this time Small would get the try as his pace saw him race over. Wath seemed to have now raised the tempo as blindside Arran Tasker made a telling break immediately from the re start, the ball was recycled quickly and again Small looked to snatch a try however a superb tap tackle by a Selby back row saw him into touch. Next came probably the worst moment of the game for Wath. As they pressured the Selby line the home side full back received the ball behind his own try line, spotting the Wath backs out of position he sent up a well weighted chip, was able to re-gather the ball himself outside the 22 and set of on a mazy run aided by poor attempted tackles from the Wath side to go over for a superb individual try. The first half would not end too well for Wath as again missed tackles out wide cost them dearly and Selby went over for another good try. Half time score 12-7 to the home side.
Into the second half and Wath would enjoy much of the possession but not before the Selby fullback had again made another impressive break, this time however the Wath defence held out. Wath would get the first points as Tasker won a turnover for Selby holding on, wing Ben Keen would duly convert this. Youngster Ashley Rothery entered the fray from the bench and made an immediate impact, with his first touch he evaded a number of attempted tackles to get Wath into the Selby 22. The ball was moved quickly and Burrows showed his strength 10 metres out to bounce of the defenders to go over. Wath took the lead 12-17. This was however very short lived as again poor one on one tackling allowed the home side over fairly quickly afterwards. Not to be outdone Wath came fighting back, Burrows was held up millimetres from the line by great Selby defence, however Wath were patient and kept possession, returning prop Dean Hardcastle barrelled his way close to the line and impressive hands from Burrows from the ruck saw Keen with half a gap which he duly coasted through to score. The recurring theme of end to end rugby continued as yet again Selby went over fairly quickly again as a result of poor tackling and strong running. The tide however did turn in Waths favour as the Selby kickers were having an off day missing the last 2 conversions. Thankfully Keen was in good form. Burrows won a penalty in a good position which Keen slotted. The game was won from the next re start as Selby were guilty of holding on just inside the Selby half Keen stepped up and hit a stunning penalty that sailed through the sticks, 30-22 to Wath. The Selby threat continued however as Wath scrum half Joe Bartlett was yellow carded, Wath would ensure that the one man disadvantage did not cost them as in the final few minutes they enjoyed much of the possession and territory and were able to wind down the clock. And although they pressed for the four try bonus point it wasn't to be. Final score 30-22 to Wath.