Dogged Wath earn first post-promotion triumph

Keen to win: Wath's Ben Keen kicked two important penalties to earn his side a first Yorkshire Two win over Leodiensians. Picture: A Roe.

Keen to win: Wath's Ben Keen kicked two important penalties to earn his side a first Yorkshire Two win over Leodiensians. Picture: A Roe.

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IT proved to be a day of all round celebration as Wath picked up their first ever win in Yorkshire Two by seeing off a strong Leodiensian side 13-10.

The newly promoted Moor Road outfit put in a performance of sheer dogged determination to earn the triumph, providing a fitting tribute to staunch supporter Tony Hardcastle for whom a minute’s silence was held prior to kick off.

And the victory left second row Jonty Morrisey celebrating on two fronts after proposing to his girlfriend with the help of his team mates.

Hardcastle’s son Dean proved integral to the victory, earning a fitting man of the match accolade on a difficult day.

The contest began rather slowly with both sides seemingly weighing each other up.

In a stark improvement from the previous week’s defeat at Bradford Salem, Wath had considerable advantage at scrum time.

They defended well in the early stages with Leodiensians having the upper hand on the attacking front.

But it was Wath who went closest to scoring when centre Ash Rothery spotted a gap and broke before laying off to Steve Wesson only for a superb scramble defence to keep him out.

They did take the lead through a Ben Keen penalty on 15 minutes but Leodiensians fought back with a vengence and following a quick tap fly half Jimmy Henry forced his way over with Joe Coleman adding the conversion.

Wath hit back well with stand off Martyn Bray powering over after receiving a quick ball on the 22 and dragging three defenders across the line with him.

The Wath defence was in a better state than the previous week with Richard Hill, Josh Catlin and Josh Bird all putting in particularly impressive hits alongside the work rate of flankers Joe Earp and Steve Wesson.

Leodiensians levelled the score with a penalty early in the second half and looked set to ascend after player coach Simon Worral introduced himself to the fray.

The former Leeds Rhinos player showed his class but Wath stepped up the mark, and aided by sloppy handling, earned a penalty with 20 minutes to go.

Keen slotted over his second penalty to give Wath a very tight margin heading into the last 20 minutes.

Rather than sit on the back foot, Wath looked to extend their lead with winger Brett Small going close.

But for the last ten minutes they were forced to defend as Leodiensians threw everything at the home side.

Wath held on resolutely to claim a famous win ahead of this weekend’s derby at Doncaster Phoenix.