Narrow win as Sheffield ‘arrive’

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Sheffield have most definitely ‘arrived’ in North 1 East.

If any confirmation was needed it duly came courtesy of a low-scoring win over fellow promoted side Malton and Norton.

The visitors came up as champions while Sheffield joined them via a successful play-off but any hopes of an encounter to warm the hearts of spectators was abandoned in the face of a howling gale, driving rain and intense cold.

Sheffield had to soak up some telling early Malton pressure but went ahead after 15 minutes thanks to a penalty try. Donal Collins added the conversion for the full seven points.

Collins had two penalty opportunities and the kicks that would, on any normal day, have sailed over the bar went wide but Sheffield still finished the half with a 7-0 advantage.

The beginning of the second half was much like the early part of the first with Sheffield having to deal with Malton pressure in all areas and it told after just five minutes when the visitors were awarded a penalty that their centre converted.

Errors continued from both sets of players and neither side could muster a golden opportunity to change things and even the opportunities at kickable penalties dried up,

Sheffield hung on to claim a 7-3 victory to remain fifth in the table with 39 points from 13 games, five more than Malton.

Team: Joe Cribley, Ewan Reed, Simon Tillyer, Dave McCabe, Alex Hill, Donal Collins, Matt Poste, Tommy Marples, Carl Mortimer, Ramzey Adamo, John Dudley, Tom White, Dave Ellis , Martin Balshaw, Andy Kelly (capt). Replacements: Chris Machen, Laurence Thomas, Danny Bearman.

They entertain Cleckheaton, who are two places below them, at Abbeydale on Saturday and then close out the year with a trip to second place South Yorkshire rivals Wheatley Hills.