Shaw Cross 6 Acorn 20
A BLISTERING start by York Acorn helped secure a fourth straight win at Shaw Cross Sharks
A BLISTERING start by York Acorn helped secure a fourth straight win at Shaw Cross Sharks in division one of the Kingstone Press National Conference.
For the first hour, the game was mainly about the rugby, however the final 20 minutes were dominated by the referee’s whistle as the encounter became increasingly fractious, with both sides having a man sent off and a player sent to the sin bin.
Overall, however, Shaw Cross were the more ill-disciplined and Acorn were on the positive side of the penalty count. Yet both sides felt disappointed with the number of penalties awarded by the official.
Acorn opened the scoring on four minutes when the lively James Mountford raced in from 15 metres for a try converted by Anthony Chilton.
From the next attacking play, Acorn doubled their lead to 12-0 when prop forward Tim Stubbs – dubbed ‘Mr Consistent’ – powered over from close range for a try which Chilton again converted.
But Acorn were caught out on their try line after ten minutes when they missed a one-on-one tackle. This allowed Shaw Cross second-rower Ross Roebuck to go in for a try which their prop forward Casey Johnson duly converted.
It proved to be the Sharks’ last points of the afternoon.
Acorn were temporarily reduced to 12 men when their hooker was sent to the sin-bin for striking in the tackle.
The game then settled down with defences on top. Acorn were well served in this department by scrum half Tim Elliott, Stubbs, man of the match Adam Endersby and substitute forward Jack Byrnes. In attack, meanwhile, powerhouse winger Jack Stewart was always a bundle of energy and hooker Mountford continually probed for openings.
The hosts’ main threat came from the footwork of their agile full back Nathan Smith and the verbal promptings of former Wakefield Super League player Paul March.
The only other score of the first half came from a 21st-minute Chilton penalty goal that took Acorn into a 14-6 lead.
Acorn got the all-important first and, ultimately, only score of the second half on 56 minutes. Stubbs latched on to a Nick Speck kick close to the hosts’ try line to score his second of the game.
When Chilton added the extras, Acorn’s advantage increased to 20-6.
Acorn could have scored again on 67 minutes when substitute Joe Burns jinked his way into space just inside his own half. Burns raced deep into Shaw Cross territory before being stopped by a great cover tackle.
Then came a period of ill-discipline which resulted in cards and disrupted the flow of the game.
The Sharks were reduced to 12 men when Nathan Smith was sent off for allegedly throwing the ball at the referee.
Brandan French got the ball down in the corner for Shaw Cross but his try was disallowed as the referee called play back for a Shaw Cross penalty.
Sam Ottewell broke up field but was held in the tackle by Acorn’s Matty Woods.
When Ottewell attempted a quick ‘play the ball’, he appeared to get a knee to the head, sparking a melee between the players. Woods was sent off and Ottewell was sent to the bin.
It was still a deserved win for sixth-placed Acorn and sets them up nicely for this weekend’s home game against basement boys Featherstone Lions.