Doncaster Phoenix suffer first defeat at Sandbach

Much-changed Doncaster Phoenix went down 27-17 at Sandbach in the Midlands Premier.

Andy Beardshall
Andy Beardshall

Phoenix were forced into nine changes from the side that beat Paviors in their opening game due to injury and unavailability.

What was always going to be a tough fixture certainly started so and the Phoenix pack were under early pressure, conceding two early penalties and a yellow card for scrummaging offences within the first 15 minutes.

The home side did not allow Phoenix to settle into the game and in fact added a converted try to take a 13-0 lead within only a quarter of the game gone.

This score was the last of the half as Phoenix worked hard to get into the game but despite some improvement it was unforced errors and penalties which prevented the visitors from bothering the scoreboard.

The home side again started the second half stronger and took the game away from Phoenix with two converted tries to open up a 27-0 lead just before the hour mark.

Phoenix rallied and hooker David Moores and flanker Andy Beardshall both went over for tries with fly-half Seth Adams converting the latter.

Captain Sam Bottomley went over for an unconverted try on 73 minutes to narrow the deficit to 27-17 and suddenly the Doncaster side were on top.

Debutant Adam Hopkinson then crossed the line but had the ball taken from his grasp as two losing bonus points went astray on the final whistle.

Phoenix face Scunthorpe at Castle Park on Saturday (3pm).