Ireland’s Call helps Sheffield

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Sheffield RUFC had a tough day at the office against bottom-three side Middlesbrough, but showed their fighting spirit to come through as 20-11 victors.

Fresh from a morale-boosting win over local rivals Wheatley Hills, Sheffield travelled to Middlesbrough hoping for a comfortable win against a side that has struggled in recent weeks.

Middlesbrough were determined to prove a point, however, and enjoyed more than their fair share of penalties in the opening few minutes as flanker Martin Balshaw was sin-binned.

Sheffield broke the deadlock after 11 minutes when Gareth Morley crashed over, but Peter Wright levelled the scores.

Penalties from Simon O’Farrell gave the home side an 11-8 lead at half time.

Mark Ireland, Sheffield’s reliable kicker, dug his team out of a hole with four second-half penalties to put the visitors 20-11 in front.

From there, Sheffield never looked like surrendering their lead and safely brought the four points back to Sheffield.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, stay alongside Darlington and Durham in the bottom three.

Sheffield: Adamo, Mortimer (capt), Tomsett, Dudley, Ellis, Balshaw, Thomas, Kelly, Poste, Ireland, Hill, Morley, Dale, Reed, Pearson.

Replacements: Bennett, T Womack, A Womack.

On Saturday, Sheffield host Keighley in the league at Abbeydale and will be hoping for a third straight victory against the 11th-placed club.