Doncaster Phoenix close in on Yorkshire One title

Double-try hero Joe Watts touches down. Picture: FSP Images.

Double-try hero Joe Watts touches down. Picture: FSP Images.

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Doncaster Phoenix are one step nearer winning the Yorkshire One title after their eight-try 51-14 victory over third placed York at Castle Park, writes Frazer Snowdon.

With four games remaining, Phoenix still boast a one hundred per cent record - 22 wins out of 22 - and are 13 points clear of second placed Malton and Norton.

They could win the title and seal promotion to North One East by winning their next game at Bridlington on March 21, but only if Malton and Norton slip up at Yarnbury.

Phoenix suffered an early fright when York opened the scoring with a converted try after just two minutes.

But they pulled back a try by flanker Ben Hyde eight minutes later and swung the game in their favour with tries by flanker Ryan Peacey and full-back Craig Deakin within two minutes of each other.

Centre Dave Hankinson converted Deakin’s try, and a fourth touchdown by prop Tom Bagnall put Phoenix 22-7 clear by the interval.

York started the second half in much the same way as the first, a converted try putting them back to within eight points. Hankinson pulled back a penalty goal, but it was only in the last ten minutes that Phoenix really took the opposition apart.

Hankinson was on target when hooker Scott Plevey scored and Deakin touched down for his second try.

Then, in the last four minutes, scrum-half Joe Watts raced over for two tries, one converted by Hankinson, as Phoenix drove home their advantage.

Malton and Norton, the only side in with a mathematical chance of catching Phoenix, kept on the pace with nine tries in their 64-18 home rout of strugglers Wath on Dearne.

Defeat left Wath second from bottom in the table, just two points better off than basement side Pontefract.

Three late tries for Wath reduced the deficit having found themselves 64-3 down, but they now have four games to pull themselves out of the bottom two to safety.