Wibsey Warriors foiled by Queens’ late rally

Wibsey Warriors foiled by Queens’ late rally

MAKE A RUN FOR IT: Ryan Smith attempts to escape the clutches of his Queens marker

Paul Jennings is wrestled to the floor

Luke Helliwell and Paul Jennings in the thick of it

Chris Vogel runs into a brick wall

First published in Sport

Wibsey Warriors 4 Queens 14

Wibsey Warriors’ bid to escape from the lower reaches of the Pennine League Premier Division came unstuck against a well-organised Queens outfit at Northfield Road.

Honours were even in the opening exchanges as both packs battled hard to gain supremacy.

The hosts showed their resolve by preventing Queens hooker Charlie Hughes from grounding when he looked to plant the ball on the whitewash.

The Warriors should have taken the lead when stand-off Ryan Smith waltzed through the visitors’ defence but failed to spot second-row forward Sean Godfrey unmarked on his outside with the posts beckoning.

And it was only some desperate Queens tackling that hauled down substitute packman Chris Vogel five metres from the chalk soon after.

Wibsey were further thwarted when Vogel broke clear, only to see his pass to the supporting scrum half Luke Helliwell hit the sodden turf, leaving both sides to contemplate what might have been with the match all-square at 0-0 at the interval.

The Warriors quickly broke the deadlock on the restart when Helliwell produced a peach of a pass to put full back Paul Jennings galloping over on the right flank, too far out for a successful conversion.

They looked to be on for more of the same when wingman Neil Wall sprinted down the touchline to plant the ball in the corner, only to have his effort ruled out for a step into touch.

Queens mounted a torrid response, with the tackles flying in thick and fast, and the pressure finally told when full back Aaron Henry chased down his own kick to score in the corner to level the scores.

The visitors clearly had their tails up, and excellent support play saw prop Stuart Young crash over at the side of the sticks, leaving Henry to add the extras.

Wibsey weathered the storm and home hopes were raised when a penalty put them in the home red zone, only to see them dashed when the ball was dropped on the first tackle.

The visitors took full advantage of tired legs to mount one last sortie, which resulted in prop Scott Houston barging his way to the try-line to end an absorbing contest.

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