Sandal RUFC's winning run ends as they are edged out by late York try

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Sandal visited York hoping to extend their run of four victories but were not at their best, particularly in the first half, and narrowly went down 24-23 after an engrossing, exciting and hard fought contest.

Although they spent the early minutes of the game in the York half the visitors failed to convert pressure into points and it was the hosts who put the first points on the board with a telling break resulting in their centre scoring in the corner.

Sandal again took play to York without threatening the line and they conceded again after a break by the home scrum-half from a line-out in his own half, helped by some sloppy defence.

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Indiscipline was costly when York converted a penalty in the 18th minute to take their lead to 13-0.

Scrummage work proved crucial in Sandal's game against York.Scrummage work proved crucial in Sandal's game against York.
Scrummage work proved crucial in Sandal's game against York.

Sandal scored their first points when Jake Adams landed a penalty, but their opponents replied in kind.

Adams reduced the home lead to again with a second penalty only for York to land another goal to lead 19-6 at the interval.

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Sandal started the second half strongly and their pressure paid off as they set up a rolling maul from a line-out from which York infringed, resulting in a penalty try being awarded.

Sandal forwards battled hard against York. Picture: Scott MerryleesSandal forwards battled hard against York. Picture: Scott Merrylees
Sandal forwards battled hard against York. Picture: Scott Merrylees

Adams’ conversion made it 16-13 and it was well and truly game on.

Two consecutive penalties allowed York to relieve further pressure and when the visitors were penalised again a successful kick resulted to put six points between the teams.

However, three minutes later York again failed to defend a rolling maul from a line-out which gave young Josh Norbury an opportunity to score his first ever first XV try and with Jake Adams adding the extras Sandal had taken a one-point lead.

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The visitors continued to apply pressure and were helped over the following 12 minutes by being awarded three penalties which ensured their position in the York half.

Then from a fourth in front of the posts Adams added points to his side’s score with a successful kick to extend their lead to 23-19.

With seven minutes left all Sandal had to do now was to keep cool, defend their line and avoid infringing to steal an unlikely victory.

However, this did not happen and after penalties allowed them to set up camp in the visitors’ 22 York had a scrum on the five-metre line. Sandal failed to control and so allowed a pushover unconverted try to be scored in the 83rd minute.

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It was heartbreak for Sandal after their big effort, but they did collect a

losing bonus point and have retained sixth place in the Regional One North East.

Sandal host top of the table Billingham this Saturday, 2.15pm.

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