Rugby union round-up: Doncaster Phoenix halt losing run with win at Stockport
Doncaster Phoenix secured a morale-boosting 26-15 win at National Three North bottom side Stockport.
Despite being their first victory since they beat Cleckheaton 26-19 at home on October 15, ending a run of nine straight losses, it wasn’t the best display of the season by Phoenix by any stretch of the imagination.
But they ground out the win they so badly needed in the face of a spirited performance from the tailenders.
After an early hiccup when Scott Redfern put Stockport ahead with a sixth minute penalty, Phoenix got to grips with the game and led 14-3 after tries from winger James Wright and full-back Will Burden, both converted by fly-half Ben Millar.
Stockport pulled back a try by Kieran Hibbs just before the break but the Castle Park side restored the margin just one minute into the second period when scrum-half James Thompson raced over and Millar added the points.
Stockport fought back to losing bonus point territory - something they haven’t achieved in 17 league matches this season - when Paul Rolf scored a try on 51 minutes, converted by Redfern.
But Phoenix secured their own four-try bonus when Millar himself touched down for a 68th minute try, although he missed the conversion kick.
Yorkshire One strugglers Wheatley Hills, who face the prospect of ending the season without a single win in North One East, were beaten 22-7 in their latest match against Morpeth at York Road.
Wheatley opened in determined fashion and took the lead after ten minutes when centre Liam Barber touched down for a try which Owen Gillvray converted to put them 7-0 ahead.
It was an excellent try, the ball going through several pairs of hands in a move which had started in their own half and ended with Butler side-stepping the Morpeth full-back to touch down.
But that was as far as they went, and Wheatley did not help their cause when No 8 Josh Foy was sent off midway through the first half and they were reduced to 12 men at one point as the referee handed out two yellow cards.
Thornensians moved up a place in Yorkshire Two after they twice came from behind to score a 21-13 home win over Old Grovians.
Thorne conceded an early penalty but then scored the first try of the match when flanker Aaron Holt touched down and centre Olly Cox landed the conversion.
An unconverted try saw Grovians edge in front at 8-7, but Thorne played their most fluent rugby in the run-up to half time to turn round 21-8 ahead.
Cox kicked the conversion when fly-half Anthony Bull sprinted over for a try, and the best try of the game came after some good inter-passing when Holt went over for his second, Cox again converting.
Thorne struggled to gain line-out ball in the second half, and Grovians had the last word when they scored a try from a driving maul. Thorne suffered a late blow when Holt went off with a bad ankle injury.
Wath on Dearne were held to a 10-10 draw at home to Ripon.