HEMSWORTH RUFC fell to defeat in their top-of-the-table clash with Leeds Medics and Dentists on Saturday but head coach Mark Wilson is still confident his men can secure promotion this term.
The 25-16 loss was only Hemsworth’s third of the season in Yorkshire Division Four - their second against Medics and Dentists - and moves them down to fourth in the table.
The visitors were well worth their victory but Hemsworth’s cause wasn’t helped by injuries to key players.
“I thought Leeds were superb early on, they came flying out of the traps,” said Wilson.
“They’d been training with England all week at their base in Leeds and they looked very sharp and well-drilled.
“Their weakness last time we played them was their scrum but they’d improved on that and were superb this time, they were just so dominant there.”
He continued: “It was difficult because Dale Harrison couldn’t make it for us and we had to make some changes, then we had to make three injury changes in the first 30 minutes.
“It’s a setback but I said before the game that this wouldn’t decide promotion, it’ll only decide who finishes first.”
Josh Wanaz scored the opening try to fire the visitors ahead before Hemsworth replied with a Dale Joburns penalty.
Medics came flying out of the traps and quickly got back on top when Joe Newcombe and Sam McMeekin crossed to give the impressive visitors a hold on the game.
The visitors extended their lead and seemingly secured the points with the next two tries after the break.
A battling, never-say-die attitude by Hemsworth kept the game alive as Leeds saw two men put in the sin-bin. Jake Thompson then crossed the line and Charlie Briscoe soon followed him over to give the hosts a chance.
Joe Thompson converted a penalty but that’s where the scoring ended. Thompson had another chance to kick a penalty to give the hosts a bonus point but his effort sailed wide.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for report and pictures from Saturday’s match.