IT’S been an eventful week at Hemsworth RUFC with Mark Wilson stepping down as head coach and the Moxon Fields men progressing to the semi-finals of the Yorkshire Silver Trophy.
Wilson handed over head coach duties to assistant Carl Wroe on Friday night but will still have some involvement at the Yorkshire Division 4 club.
He was on the sidelines as Hemsworth battled hard to beat a physical Redcar side, from two divisions higher in the rugby union pyramid, 19-3 to book their semi-final date.
“I stood down the night before the Redcar game,” he said.
“Carl [Wroe] will now be head coach.
“We’ve had former Leeds Tyke Neil Clark and Cyprus international Matt Lowe return to the club.
“They’re helping out in training and obviously on the pitch, and Carl can also help explain tactics better because he’s still playing too.
“I never get involved in the playing side so sometimes it’s easy for Carl to get involved and let them know what they need to do and how we want them to play.
“I’ll still be down at the games.”
Wilson prepared his men well for his final game in charge as head coach as they saw off Redcar in convincing fashion.
The hosts were worthy winners but had to cope with a physical Redcar in a game that saw numerous sin-binnings.
Hemsworth had 13 men on the pitch to Redcar’s 14 when the hosts scored the first points of the match.
Cyprus international Lowe touched down his own kick and chase to give Hemsworth the lead and Joe Thompson added the conversion.
The visitors posted their only points from a penalty just before half-time but the Yorkshire Division 4 hosts continued to be on top on the resumption.
Chris Moody spotted a gap in the Redcar defence to cross the line and Thompson again kicked successfully to extend Hemsworth’s lead.
Both sides saw further men in the sin-bin, with Charlie Briscoe having ten minutes off the pitch for the hosts. It was Briscoe, however, who completed the scoring when he returned to seal Hemsworth’s win.
“Redcar dropped some of their flair players,” said Wilson.
“They tried to come here and bully us but the lads were ready for that.”
Hemsworth are now set to face Thornensians in the semi-finals after the Doncaster club saw off Rotherham Phoenix 24-14 in their last-eight clash.
A date for the semi-final has yet to be confirmed but Hemsworth are understood to have home advantage.
In the meantime Hemsworth will return to league action on Saturday when they welcome struggling Stanley Rodillians to Moxon Fields (kick-off 3pm).
They’ll be looking for victory and the bonus point to keep their promotion hopes on-track, and victory, as well as defeat for Harrogate Pythons, would see them up to a second automatic promotion spot.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.