Barnsley 22 Wath 29
By Steve Corns
Barnsley 22 Wath 29
Visitors Take Spoils in Local Derby
Wath are in danger of gaining a reputation of slow starters as they conceded early points in the local derby at Barnsley. A penalty from the kick off gave the home team an opportunity for goal. Although it dropped just short, Barnsley continued to build pressure which resulted in their backs handling well and crossing for a try. The conversion gave the Shaw Lane outfit a 7-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes.
Barnsley continued to press with the advantage of a strong wind at their backs and extended their lead to 10-0 with an easy penalty as Wath were penalised for offside. After 20 minutes Wath finally got into their opponents’ half and gained a penalty. Jack Whitlam struck the ball well and cut the deficit to 10-3.
The home team responded well and moved menacingly into Wath’s 22. Despite their best defensive efforts, Wath eventually conceded a second try but, as the extra two points from the conversion were not taken, Barnsley only moved to a 15-3 advantage.
The Wath team, perhaps relieved not to have been further behind after 30 minutes, settled into their usual style of play. They began to dominate the set pieces and gain greater territorial advantage. A steal from a line out, followed by several quick rucks, gave space for a typical Luke Stead try, crashing over the line with style. Whitlam’s conversion blew wide but closed the score to 15-8. Just before half time similar play ended with hooker, James Dobson, picking up from a ruck to score his first try of the season. Despite the difficult conditions Whitlam’s conversion went straight and true. The 15-15 score line at the break had seemed unlikely after 20 minutes.
After just five minutes of the second half Barnsley made an unforced error in the backs and Wath centre, Jack Jewel, had the pace to take full advantage and sprint 50 metres to touch down between the posts. The easy conversion by Whitlam gave the away team the lead for the first time in the game. At 15-22 the home team appeared rocked and Wath gained confidence.
A well worked try, started by Matt Burrows taking the ball “blind”, went quickly through several pairs of hands to give winger, Anthony Barrett, plenty of room to take the ball at pace and cross the try line unopposed. Wisely, he got the ball as near to the posts as possible and Whitlam’s conversion was made easier. After 65 minutes Wath were well in control with a 15-29 lead.
However, the game was brought back to life after 70 minutes as Wath were reduced to 14 men when James Dobson was red carded for illegal use of the boot. Barnsley, energised by the opportunity, took almost immediate advantage. A strong, determined run by their right wing was rewarded with a try and a successful kick closed the score to 22-29.
With no additional alarms Wath controlled the closing stages and the game ended with no further score. After the early setbacks, players and supporters were more than delighted to gain a bonus point win at the expense of their local rivals.
Andy Hopkin, the "Peoples Champion", suffered victimisation from the referee who continually penalised him for offside. He obviously did not realise his pace and speed off the mark.
Anthony Hamilton played a full 80 minutes and was awesome throughout.
Next Saturday Wath host unbeaten, table toppers, Northallerton. All spectators please note kick off time will be at 2.15.