Wibsey Warriors 28 Bank Top Harriers 18
A well-timed hat-trick from Wibsey Warriors centre Nick Fontaine proved to be the game-breaker in the bottom-of-the-table Pennine League Premier Division clash against Bank Top Harriers at Beldon Lane.
Any thoughts that first use of the slope would prove to be the vital factor were soon dispelled as the Harriers opened up in great style.
Wingman Dan Oldfield dropped the ball with the line wide open and was then unlucky to be recalled for a penalty in his favour when he ghosted in at the corner flag.
However, justice was done when a quick tap and run saw full back Finn Lamont weave his way through to touch down at the side of the sticks, leaving stand-off Bob Brown to tag on the extras.
Wibsey quickly levelled matters when stand-off Ryan Smith went back to basics to shrug off three defenders before planting the ball under the uprights. Scrum half Neil Sutcliffe made sure of full reward.
But they were then reduced in numbers when packman Dan Conroy received a yellow card for a late challenge.
He timed his return from the bin to perfection when he started off a slick passing move that put Fontaine on route to the whitewash and the speedy centre quickly followed up with his brace by collecting a Sutcliffe kick to cross bang on the half-time whistle.
At 14-6 Bank Top, now playing downhill, were still very much in contention but it was the Warriors who struck a telling blow when second row forward Nick Walker flat-footed the defence with a simple dummy to canter in.
A cracking 70-metre run from packman Jason Gelder set up the chance for Lamont to side step his way to the chalk and Brown’s conversion sparked a short-lived revival at 18-12 before the electric pace of Fontaine saw him collect an offload from substitute Gavin Mezals to claim his hat-trick.
Second-row forward Sean Godfrey added the conversion but the Harriers were far from done, with Gelder only denied a certain try when he collided with the post.
The Warriors continued their march to victory when wingman Jimmy Rodgers crossed in the corner before Lamont deservedly claimed his trio when he spun out of a tackle for the last hurrah, which by then had assured the Warriors of the two points necessary to put them clear of the relegation zone.