REGIONAL 2 NORTH EAST
MALTON & NORTON RUFC 54 – 22 SELBY RUFC
Report by Ray Adamson
Despite eventually falling to what appears a heavy defeat, Selby certainly played their part in a highly entertaining and high energy match at the Gannock, Malton, at one point reducing the score to 19-17 before injuries and Malton’s impressive offloading in the tackle and excellent support play saw them pull well clear in the final quarter of the match. By scoring 4 tries Selby at least had the consolation of a bonus point and impressed a lot of the home crowd with the quality of some of their own play and the way they battled throughout the game.
Once again the Selby forwards showed themselves to be a match for their high flying opponents in the set piece, scoring 2 of their tries from an early scrum and a line-out close to the Malton line. The early pressure from the Selby side kept Malton pinned back in their 22 and the game was barely 5 minutes old before the visitors opened their account. Having forced a 5 metre scrum, Selby’s number 8 Jamie Ibbetson took advantage of a wheel which took out the majority of the Malton back row defence to crash over wide out. Although Henry Wright was unable to add the extras, Selby had shown real positive intent.
Malton were stung into action from this early setback and soon took the lead when fly half James Bulmer side stepped and dummied his way through the Selby defence for a try by the side of the posts which he also converted. Not to be outdone, Selby returned to the attack and following a yellow card for the Malton hooker Bowman for illegally knocking the ball out of scrum half Jamie Skelton’s hands, Wright was able to kick to the corner. The line-out catch was clean, the drive too powerful for the depleted Malton forwards and Charlie Thompson was able to control the ball and cross for another well executed try. Wright again failed with the conversion from wide out but Selby held a deserved 10-7 lead.
In the space of the next 15 minutes the game changed significantly as Malton notched 2 further tries, the first saw Rounthwaite benefit from the trade mark crisp handling and close support play whilst the second saw full back Fothergill claim a fine individual try having collected a kick close to the 10 metre line. Bulmer was able to convert one of the 2 and Malton had a lead that they were not to lose again. Selby’s cause was not helped when their own full back Joe Ramsay had to leave the field after 35 minutes following a blow to the head which required wholesale changes in the Selby line-up, Adam Crooks coming in at hooker, Charlie Thompson moving into the back row, Jamie Ibbetson taking up a centre position and Bob Robinson moving onto the wing so that Charlie Bramley could slot in at full back. Despite sustained pressure from the home side following the changes, the Selby defence put in a magnificent shift to prevent any further score before the half time whistle which saw Malton go into the break 19 points to 10 up.
With both sides keen to play an expansive game, the crowd were treated to some excellent Rugby and it was surprising that there were no further scores until 18 minutes after the re-start, by which time Selby had had to readjust again, Quinton McGrory-Hill having been replaced by Alex Webster due to a hamstring injury. A scrum outside their own 22 saw Selby launch an attack fro deep and when Charlie Bramley broke through the Malton defence, Jamie Ibbetson was on hand to take the try scoring pass and run in, giving Wright an easy conversion, reducing the deficit to 2 points and giving the Selby support hope of a real upset.
Unfortunately, Malton refused to panic, stuck to their well practised game plan and within 10 further minutes took the game away from an understandably tiring Selby team. Fothergill scored his second try of the afternoon when a promising Selby attack broke down on the Malton 22 and a swift counter attack outflanked the Selby defence and left him with an easy run in. Barker then scored Malton’s 5th try in almost copy cat style with close support and classy offloading proving too good to contain. Bulmer’s 2 conversions opened up a 16 point gap and it now seemed only a question of whether Selby could summon the energy to claim a losing bonus point. Their cause was not helped when skipper Ash Parkinson was yellow carded after 68 minutes for a late tackle and Malton took full advantage of the extra man to run in 2 further tries, both converted by Bulmer as Malton moved out to 47-17.
The Selby response to their skipper’s return was immediate and clinched the 4 try bonus point. A scrum on the Malton 10 metre line was solid, a well executed set play in the backs saw Bob Robinson carve through the home defence and Alex Webster was on hand to take the try scoring pas wide out on the left.
Still the home side were not finished and one final attack saw them again go through numerous phases before breaking through a desperately tired Selby defence for a try under the posts which Bulmer converted with the final kick of an excellent match in which both sides did their best to entertain the large crowd.