York edge victory in close encounter



Photo by Jay Theis

Lancaster 6-22 York

A fantastic defensive display was not enough to keep out an aggressive attacking York team as Lancaster’s men’s rugby union 1st’s succumbed to a 22-6 defeat at the hands of the White Rose.

Lancaster centre Gregg Smith kicked six points to keep the score-board ticking over in the first half, whilst the home side struggled to make the break through in the face of a strong York line. An early chance went begging for Lancaster when a grubber kick down the right flank was pounced upon by a York man to deny the Lancaster winger.

A charge down saw Lancaster scrum-half Arthur Haynes lead the charge towards York’s try line, only for the the home side to be penalised for crossing. At the other end of the pitch, mistakes by York cost them their attacking advantage whilst a great Lancaster scrum and half break by Tim Holloway took play back up to halfway.

With some great defence from both sides ensuring the majority of  play became bogged down in the centre of the field, it was York that took the edge going into the second half. Kicker Tom Chadwick gifted the White Rose a three point lead over the Cat’s as the half came to a close, the scoreline at 9-6 to York

Just as the defensive lines of both sides had looked near impenetrable, York made the breakthrough at the start of the second half. A chip over the defence by Chadwick coupled with a Lancaster fumble saw the fly half cross over on the right flank for the first try of the game. Fortunately for Lancaster, the conversion could not be added.

York began to step up the pressure forcing a period of intense and heroic defending close to the Lancaster try line. The pressure paid off when a powerful maul gifted York with another try. Once more, they were unable to add the conversion.

The second try marked a difficult period for the home side who struggled to get out of their own 22. They were lucky not to concede more than a penalty which York slotted over to bring the score to 22-6.

The difference bewteen the two teams was no more apparent than in each teams attack. York demonstrated ferocious speed in shipping the ball around the field to make territorial gains, whereas Lancaster simply shifted the ball down the line making very little ground by doing so. York most certainly looked the fittest of the teams as well with a dejected and tired looking Lancaster team looking far from threatening.

The frustration of the home side at their inability to break through the York line came to a head when a horrific kick to touch squandered a fantastic attacking opportunity and gave possesion back to York.

The match finished with an injury to a York man,  forcing the referee to blow the whistle shortly before the expected finish time.

Captain Wilf Whittle had this to say to SCAN at the end of the game; ‘We made alot of mistakes, but we can’t fault our effort. Hopefully we can build on a better club for next year. It’s hard for us to coach ourselves so we are looking to build for the future.’

The result marked another whitewash for York in Roses rugby with the Lancaster men’s Second’s, Third’s and Seven’s teams all being defeated.

Despite the result, the Cat’s can take much away from their heroic defensive performance in the game and in general the fantastic attitude of the whole club throughout the year. The radical shake up of the club  has seen them try to improve their image to such a great extent that they even abandoned their annual Roses tradition of dying their hair blonde. Win or lose, it can be said with certainty that the men’s rugby union club have well and truly buried the hatchet of Roses 2011 and are now a club in which the university can be truly proud of.









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