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Doncaster Phoenix suffer controversial derby defeat to Scunthorpe

Will Smith is pictured on his way to scoring against Scunthorpe. Photo: FSP Images
Will Smith is pictured on his way to scoring against Scunthorpe. Photo: FSP Images

Doncaster Phoenix felt aggrieved after suffering an agonising 26-27 defeat at home to local rivals Scunthorpe.

The Castle Park club picked up two bonus points from a close fought game.

But they felt it should have been more were it not for a couple of controversial decisions by the referee which both resulted in scores for the visitors.

Scunthorpe had the best of the early exchanges with their big forwards running hard at the Phoenix defence which stood strong and conceded only a penalty on eight minutes.

The home side then turned the tide on Scunthorpe with flanker Will Taylor scoring a pushover try following good line out work.

Winger Sam Nunn then collected a cross-field kick from Seth Adams with the two then combining to pick up a seven-point score and a good 12-3 half time lead.

Scunthorpe started the second period as they did the first with their backs and forwards running well.

Again the Phoenix defence stuck to the task until the referee gave the visitors a scrum put-in following a dropped ball by their fly half – a decision which cost Phoenix as Scunthorpe scored from the play.

Phoenix were then further frustrated when the official blew for a Scunthorpe player held up over the line, halting play before then allowing the player to roll over and score – for which he then awarded the try.

Despite then being a player down due to a yellow card offence, Nunn and Will Smith ran in two excellent length of field tries for Phoenix, both converted by Nunn to put them into a 26-15 lead.

However, the opposition finished strongly with two tries, one converted, to give them a one-point lead and a victory to take them to the top of the Midlands Premier Division.

Phoenix hope to return to winning ways when they play Sheffield on Saturday.

Wheatley Hills went down 42-29 at Northallerton in Yorkshire Division Two.

Thornensians made it three wins from four in Yorkshire Division Three with a 22-7 win over previously unbeaten Leeds Corinthians.

Ryan Pilley, James Fenwick and Ross Haley scored the tries for Thorne, while Tom Holt kicked two conversions and a penalty.