Panthers make leaders Upton work hard for close-fought win

editorial image

UPTON returned to winning ways in the Pennine League First Division but they were made to work hard for the points by basement-dwelling Panthers.

Nick Welsh’s late try and conversion helped the hosts bag maximum points and avoid an upset with a 22-20 victory against a Castleford side boosted with new additions from Summer League sides.

After a tough couple of opening sets the referee decided to stamp his authority on the game by sin-binning one player from each side just four minutes in.

Panthers adjusted the better of the two sides, however, and opened the scoring eight minutes in with an unconverted try.

Upton drew level four minutes later when Sam Parkin touched down a clever Steve Beal chip and the latter also converted to put his side ahead.

The hosts suffered a blow when Beal came off with torn ankle ligaments and things got worse when they visitors scored an unconverted try to regain the lead at half-time.

The second half was better for Upton and Craig Shippley scored the hosts, Welsh taking over kicking duties to convert

The see-saw encounter swung back Castleford’s way before Shippley added his second score from Welsh’s clever chip.

Panthers looked to have stolen the points with two minutes to go with a converted try but Welsh was the hero for Upton with his dive over the line out wide and conversion.

Shippley took the man of the match honours for an outstanding defensive performance while Welsh and Parkin also impressed.

Upton have no game this weekend and return to action on Saturday, November 24 when they take on Newsome Panthers.

There were wins for both Kinsley Raiders and Ryhill Hammers in Division Six.

Raiders inflicted more woe on Kings Cross Park A, who have now lost all nine matches so far this season, with a 44-12 win.

Kinsley face a tough task this Saturday when the visit second-placed Sherburn.

Ryhill beat rock-bottom Rodley 14-10.

Third-placed Hammers have no match this weekend and return on Saturday, November 24 at Sherburn.

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.