Sixteen-year-old debutant Jack Swain scored three tries in Upton’s 32-16 win at Queensbury in the Pennine League’s Premier Division.
Nathan Kirby also scored a try on his debut for Upton who gave an excellent display in their first away fixture of 2015 after fielding a young side sprinkled with experienced players.
Upton led 22-8 at half-time against a strong, physical Queensbury team.
Queensbury won the toss and forced Upton to play down hill in the first half on the heavy, undulating pitch which saw the opening exchanges even.
Upton opened the scoring through the versatileTodd Williamson.
Great work from forwards Nick Welsh, Ross Burrows and Stuart James gained good field position and Steve Beal hoisted a high kickwhich led to Williamson and Beal bearing down on Queensbury’s full-back. He let the ball bounce and it was smartly collected by Williamson who pounced for a try that Beal goaled.
Queensbury responded with two quick unconverted tries from Josh Naylor and Daniel Claire as Upton made mistakes and gifted field position.
At this stage, Queensbury had their tails were up but they were denied further points by Upton’s superb defence, marshalled by Matt Steadman, Dean Raikes, Alan Thomson, Beal and Williamson.
Upton then stamped their mark on the game, with a hat trick of tries from Swain, the first coming after good work from Dave Backhouse and Nathan Kirby gave Liam Harnell space to find lively Raikes whose smart cut out pass gave Swain an easy score in the corner.
Jake Turner, Alex Copcutt, Steadman, James and another youngster Aaron Cartwright all made valuable ground as Upton continued to dominate.
Harnell and Raikes combined to send in Swain at the corner and Beal converted.
Swain then completed his treble after excellent work by Burrows and another young player Harry Stevens, who was solid at centre all game.
Stevens supplied a smart pass to Swain who cut back inside before skipping down the touch line from 30 yards out to score a try that Beal improved to give Upton a 14-point lead at the break.
The second half saw Upton’s best performance of the season so far in testing conditions playing up the slope.
They put in a great defensive effort and this took place mainly in Queensbury’s half as Upton applied great pressure.
Kirby was next to score after Beal bamboozled Queensbury’s defence before finding Stevens who quickly sent Kirby in at the corner.
Upton’s entire team were now giving everything and pushing Queensbury back to their line.
Harnell took his chance to go over from five yards out to put them further ahead.
Queensbury staged a fight back in the last 10 minutes with unconverted tries from Scott Swan and Joe Flanagan as Upton tired but it was far too late to affect the outcome.
Referee Liam Staveley who was also in charge of Upton’s recent BARLA Yorkshire Cup semi-final against Queens, had another excellent game
Upton’s man of the match award went to Swain followed by Steadman and Beal but all their players from one to 17 deserved the award.
Upton host Hitchin-based North Herts Crusaders in the BARLA National Cup first round on Saturday (2pm kick-off).
Bottom Kinsley Raiders lost 18-6 at home to second-placed Woodhouse Warriors in Division Three on Saturday.
Kinsley are in league action again this Saturday when they visit third-placed Queensbury A.