Sheffield beware as wheatley bid for revenge

Sheffield RUFC Joe Cribley is tackled vs Cleckheaton
Sheffield RUFC Joe Cribley is tackled vs Cleckheaton

It’s the final countdown to the Christmas break and what better way to draw 2011 to a close than with a tasty South Yorkshire derby.

Wheatley Hills await Andy Kelly’s side, still smarting from their narrow 19-17 defeat at Abbeydale back in September which was Sheffield’s opening home match of the new North 1 East campaign.

It was a feisty thriller, settled by some impressing kicking from Donal Collins - he bagged four penalties and converted Matt Poste’s try - and a missed conversion attempt from Wheatley’s Guy Townsley late in the game which would have tied the score up at 19-all.

At the moment Sheffield stand fifth, seven points behind the third-placed Doncaster side, who dropped from second after their 16-10 defeat at Malton and Norton.

There’s no doubt Sheffield have surprised a few people - and possibly themselves! - with their impressive season so far which sees them go to Wheatley full of confidence after racking up four successive wins.

They’ve proved they can mix it with the best of them, as was the case in their latest success, a 10-3 home victory over Cleckheaton.

Sheffield got the perfect start with a Collins penalty in the first minute but the visitors levelled it up in the 18 minute.

However, handling errors continued to dominate for both sides as did the strength of their respective defences. Collins missed a fourth opportunity with the boot but replacement James Montgomery then took on match-winner status in the 73 minute.

First of all he had a ‘try’ rubbed out as the referee was unsighted but Sheffield remained camped in the Cleckheaton 22 and after a scrum out on the left, Poste fed Collins who executed a perfect cross field kick into the waiting arms of Montgomery who powered over.

Collins added a difficult conversion.

The visitors came back strongly and Sheffield’s task to keep them out was made more difficult when Tommy Marples was dismissed for a high tackle. But they hung on to gather in a little more pre-Christmas cheer.

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