Rugby Union round-up: Doncaster Phoenix on top of the tree at Christmas

Ryan Peacey scores for Phoenix in the win over Middlesbrough.
Ryan Peacey scores for Phoenix in the win over Middlesbrough.

Doncaster Phoenix are on course to join Wheatley Hills in North One East next season as they go into the Christmas break with an eight-point cushion at the top of Yorkshire One.

But it was a close call for Phoenix as they rounded off the first half of their campaign with a slender 27-25 win over Middlesbrough at Castle Park.

Middlesbrough, who are in third place, scored the first try after just four minutes and Phoenix turned round 20-8 adrift after stand-off Ben Millar had pulled back a penalty goal and No 8 Ryan Peacey raced over for the home side’s first try on 35 minutes.

But Phoenix were quick off the mark in the second half, closing the gap with a try by flanker Adam Kettle which Millar converted to bring the score back to 20-15.

Middlesbrough scored again but Phoenix closed to five points again when Peacey touched down for his second try.

With the score at 25-20 in Middlesbrough’s favour, Phoenix drew level – and secured a four-try bonus point – when full back Craig Deakin sprinted over in the last play of the game.

Millar’s conversion swung the result.

Wheatley Hills’ scheduled match at Northern was postponed because of a frozen pitch and will now be replayed on January 24.

In another Yorkshire One match, Wath on Dearne salvaged a 10-10 draw in their home clash against higher placed Scarborough.

Wath looked set to score an upset when they went ahead with a try by Matt Burrows after just five minutes.

There was no further score for half an hour, and Wath went 10-0 up when 17-year-old winger Ben Cairns raced in for a debut try.

But both were out on the wing and Anthony Barratt and Sam Jones were wide with their conversion attempts.

Scarborough scored from a maul just before half time, and they levelled five minutes after the restart.

Wath should have capitalised when Scarborough had a back row player sent off with 35 minutes remaining.

But they only had a one-man advantage for ten minutes as they themselves had three players yellow carded in succession.

Thornensians salvaged a losing bonus point but dropped to fourth place in Yorkshire Three when they were edged out 29-24 in their home match against Castleford.

Castleford opened with a penalty but winger Ollie Cox levelled, only for the visitors to move into a 13-3 lead.

A try by centre Stuart Hughes, converted by Cox, brought the score back to 13-10 at half time.

The teams shared five tries in a frantic second half which could have gone either way.

Castleford scored twice, but Thorne levelled the score when their No 8 Rob Moffatt crashed over for two more, both converted by Cox.

Then, with the last move of the match, Castleford secured the winner.

Rossington Hornets beat Hallamshire 14-10 in the Yorkshire Five Cup.