Promoted Bentley ARLFC kicked off their first ever Pennine Amateur Rugby League Championship Division campaign, with a hard fought 32-28 victory over New Earswick All Blacks.
New Earswick took the lead early on with a well worked try and then held the young Bentley side, missing a number of key players through injury and commitments, at bay until midway through the first half when a barnstorming run by centre Marty Hall was finished by stand-off Adam Gilmore. Jack Craswell converted to give his side a 6-4 lead.
The York side regained the lead (10-6) when punishing some poor Bentley defending.
Bentley hit back to lead 12-10, second-row Lyndon Staley rounding off a flowing team move and Craswell again converting.
A jinking run by centre Jonny Marshall released prop Gaz Burns to score on the stroke of half time to earn his side a two-point interval lead.
The visitors made the running after the break and Bentley had to dig deep to deny them.
But two quickly-taken tries by young winger Ben Wright and fellow winger Ryan Richardson, scored a 90 metre interception on his debut, helped turn the tide. Staley added a second try.
“It was a great start from the lads, though ill-discipline at times could have cost us and meant we had to work very hard in defence,” said coach Andy Whitfield. “But the lads showed character and commitment and got the result they deserved.”
The newly-formed Doncaster Toll Bar A team got off to a flying start on their Division Six (East) debut with a 38-18 win over Halton Moor Storm.
The Leeds club drew first blood but the young Toll Bar team, whose average age was 22, hit back with tries by Shane Southgate, Reid Garrity, Dom Riley and player-coach Gav Millward, all converted by Phil Harrison, to open up a 22-4 lead.
Halton finished the half on top and added two more unconverted tries before the break.
Toll Bar regained the initiative after the interval with Jack Hopkinson and Dave Cowell crossing for tries. Halton claimed a fourth try but hooker Wayne Southgate ensured his side the final say.
“It was a really proud moment for the club to field a 2nd team and show how far we have come over the last two years,” said head coach Ian Tattersall.
“Eighteen months ago I took over I took the first team to Emley Moor and we only had 12 players; we now have close to 60 players signed on and is great for the club.
“We have a lot of talented young players at and this team gives them a stage to showcase that talent.
“To have six sixteen year olds in the squad was fantastic and they all stood up to the challenge.
“Myself and the other coaches at the club know this is just the start and have our feet firmly on the ground because running two teams week in week out will be hard and there will be some tough times ahead but it’s a great start.”
The club’s 1st team entertain Allerton Bywater on Saturday (2.30) and the 2nd team travel to the Castleford side to play their A team.