HEMSWORTH RUFC head coach Mark Wilson was delighted with his side’s performance as they kept their Yorkshire Division 4 promotion hopes on-track with a 42-25 home win over Old Grovians.
Victory was crucial if Wilson’s men were to keep pace with the league leaders and they had to fend off stubborn visitors to bag the points.
Keep pace they did, however, and the Hemsworth coach was full of his praise for his side.
“The lads were awesome,” he said.
“It was a brilliant game that was played like a cup match. Grovians knew they had to win if they were to stay in with a shout of promotion and they took the game to us.
“But we were very, very good. The forwards were excellent for us, the support play was excellent and we stuck to our game plan which was pleasing to see.”
The hosts started superbly and tries from Gary Dyas and Dale Joburns gave them an early 10-0 lead.
Grovians battled back, however, and a penalty kick and drop goal got them firmly back in the contest before a converted try put them ahead.
Neil Clarke scored a superb third try for Hemsworth before half-time and a Dale Joburns penalty edged them into the break 18-13 to the good.
Hemsworth overpowered their visitors in the second half, but they had to do it the hard way after being reduced to 13 men at one point.
Jake Thompson received a controversial red card and Charlie Briscoe was also sin-binned for the hosts.
But tries from the impressive Dan Snowden, Ryan Blinkhorn, Rob Hooker and a second from Joburn saw Hemsworth to victory.
Wilson had no qualms with Briscoe’s second-half sin-binning but felt the decision to send Thompson off was a harsh one.
“No way was it a red,” he said.
“The momentum carried their player, he was going full pelt when Jake tackled him and it was unfortunate that he landed like he did.
“No way was it intentional from Jake.”
Hemsworth still remain two points off the top-two promotion spots after Harrogate Pythons won their match at Ossett, but the Moxon Fields side have the more favourable run-in - with two of their three matches against the bottom two clubs.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for full match report, preview and pictures from Saturday’s Hemsworth RUFC match.