Homing-in on a double mission

Sheffield RUFC v Ilkley . Martin Balshaw fends off a challenge
Sheffield RUFC v Ilkley . Martin Balshaw fends off a challenge
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Sheffield keep their eyes on hoped-for silverware as they get ready for a two-in-one home clash against South Yorkshire rivals Dinnington.

The Abbeydale high-fliers entertain the Yorkshire One strugglers in a rearranged league and Yorkshire Shield double-header on Saturday.

Dinnington have not had the best of season’s and their next-to-bottom plight wasn’t helped with last Saturday’s 18-8 home defeat to bottom of the table Bradford Salem.

Meanwhile Sheffield were keeping their promotion hopes very much alive with a 23-10 victory at Knottingley.

Martin Balshaw returned in the place of Andrew Enevoldson who dropped to the bench and the open side flanker celebrated by scoring his team’s opening try.

The trusty boot of Donal Collins had given the ring rusty visitors a 3-0 lead after nine minutes while the home side squandered three kickable penalties and a try-scoring opportunity. Sheffield made them pay when Balshaw broke away from a maul some 25 metres out and made ground before he was finally driven over out wide on the left. Collins added the difficult conversion and it was suddenly 10-0 with 26 minutes gone.

That scoreline changed almost immediately as Knottingley lost possession from the kick off and James ‘Moose’ Montgomery raced down the wing before passing to skipper Andy Kelly who scored a second try. Collins added the extras and it was looking good for Kelly and Co.

Shortly before half-time Balshaw was sin-binned for a high tackle and the home side cut the gap with a converted try. Within two minutes of the second half, Knottingley fired over a penalty to reduce the deficit to just seven points but Sheffield regrouped and Collins landed two quick-fire penalties midway through the half to make the game safe. There was still time for the home side’s No8 to be red-carded for punching but it was Sheffield’s day.

Team: Marples, Mortimer, Machen, Dudley, Ellis, Thomas, Balshaw, Kelly, Poste, Collins, Hill, Holland, King, Montgomery, Reed. Replacements: Stanney, Enevoldson (for Thomas 17 mins), Cribley (for Holland 67).

Sheffield’s second team battled their way to a 15-7 victory in their inter-city top-of-the-table clash against a Sheffield Tigers side that included the Pearson brothers, Neil and Jimmy.

The result meant the Abbeydale side leapfrogged their rivals into top spot

Sheffield Under-17s prop Matt Rudkin has been selected to join Yorkshire Counties elite squad of 24.

Despite having forward domination, Rudkin and Co. leaked two late tries to go down 17-8 at Hull Ionians while the Under-18 Colts eclipsed Hessel 50-0.