Rugby union round-up: Phoenix's pride in defeat to Lions, Thornensians claim first away win
Doncaster Phoenix failed to avenge a home defeat by Peterborough Lions in their Midlands Premier Division return at the weekend.
But the Castle Park side did not come away empty-handed from their top-four clash and picked up a losing bonus point from a narrow 19-14 defeat.
Beaten 30-11 by the big-spending Lions back in September, Phoenix got off to a dream start with former Doncaster Knights forward Adam Kettle supplying the finishing touches to a well-worked move. Sam Brooke added the extras to leave Lions trailing 7-0.
The home side hit back with a well-taken try by their wing out wide and the more experienced Peterborough pack began to assert their authority in the second quarter.
Their pressure paid off with two converted tries in the final ten minutes of the half earning them a 19-7 interval lead.
Phoenix produced a much improved showing in the second half and scored another good team try through wing Josh Fowler. Brooke added the touchline conversion to close the gap to just five points.
Phoenix battled to the end and came close to victory during the time when Lions had two men sin-binned.
Phoenix will face Sandbach at Castle Park on Saturday at 5pm following the Knights-Bristol B&I Cup clash.
Wheatley Hills failed to ease their Yorkshire One relegation fears when going down 38-15 at home to leaders York.
Thornensians beat second-bottom Leos 12-8 to claim their first Yorkshire Two away win of the season.
The home side made the early running and took the lead on ten minutes when their wing collected a grubber kick to score the opening try.
Thorne drew level at 5-5 on the half hour. A rare venture into enemy territory produced a flowing move which resulted in Tom Ambler catching a high kick through by Tom Holt to touch down in the corner.
Leos regained the initiative and only dogged defence by Thorne, who displayed a real ‘they shall not pass mentality’ denied them another try.
The third quarter followed the same pattern but Thorne continued to defend well. Leos broke the deadlock with a 30 metre penalty to make it 8-5 after 55 minutes.
The Doncaster side took the lead for the first time on 65 minutes with what proved to be the winning try - Luke Marsden finishing off a flowing move by touching down under the posts to present Rob Brown with an easy conversion.