Doncaster Phoenix suffer third straight defeat
Doncaster Phoenix put in a much-improved performance at local rivals Sheffield but again came away empty-handed as they went down 31-20.
Phoenix ran their opposition close and the game was not decided until the last five minutes.
But the end result was a third defeat from four games in Midlands Premier – leaving the Castle Park club third bottom in the early standings.
The home side were dominant early on and opened up a 10-0 lead in the first 20 minutes with a penalty and converted try.
A fine try by Phoenix skipper Sam Bottomley, after a midfield break by hooker Fraser Leiper, converted by fly-half Seth Adams reduced the deficit to three points.
They should have taken the lead on the half hour but the referee controversially disallowed a try by winger Tom O’Brien for a foot in touch.
Phoenix quickly conceded another converted try before O’Brien did get on the scoresheet with an excellent solo effort on the stroke of half time.
O’Brien added a second try following the restart but Sheffield’s forward pack starting to dominate and they added a further converted try to lead 24-17 and Phoenix conceded a yellow card to be reduced to 14 men.
Adams kicked a penalty on 65 minutes to keep Phoenix in the game at 24-20 but Sheffield sealed victory with a converted try with five minutes to go.
Phoenix host Bridgnorth at Castle Park on Saturday at 3pm.