HOSTS Old Grovians came out second best in a poor game of Yorkshire Two rugby against Thornensians, losing 12-7 in a match dominated by the referee's whistle.

Ben Brown missed a straightforward penalty for Grovians after just two minutes. The first 20 minutes saw penalty after penalty for both sides, which eventually resulted in a Thornes player receiving the first yellow card of the day.

Then, on 25 minutes, a Grovians drive to the line from another penalty saw Brown held up at the last.

On half an hour, the visitors scored the first try, after a series of drives from a scrum, and the conversion was added.

They increased the lead further when, after 38 minutes, they won their own scrum and scored in the right hand corner.

Right on half-time, Pad Burns charged down a kick and was unlucky to be tackled right on the Thornes try line.

The second half continued in a similar fashion to the first, with neither side able to put any continuity together as the play was stopped time and time again.

Nick Bulcock came on for his Grovians debut only to be harshly yellow carded by the referee for an alleged high tackle.

A Thornes player followed him off soon after, again for an alleged high tackle, as both sets of spectators grew more and more frustrated on the sidelines.

Grovians scored with ten minutes remaining to give themselves some hope.

A lineout on the edge of the Thornes 22 was driven all the way to the line, with James Johnstone coming out underneath a pile of bodies to get the try.

Brown converted to pull the score back to within five and although Grovians strived for a winning try, it did not come and they had to settle for the losing bonus point. The hosts remain fifth after what was a forgettable encounter.

Grovians coach Andy Hinchliffe said: “A disappointing loss today. The game never really got going and was stop/start throughout.

“Indiscipline was punished by the referee’s very busy whistle. Some critical errors at crucial moments also cost us dear as we just could not build any momentum.

“As always, the players' effort and commitment is not questionable, but the mental strength to stay disciplined under pressure must be the lesson from today.”