OLD GROVIANS put up a spirited performance in Yorkshire Two, losing 26-17 at Wath who are unbeaten at home all season.

With only 18 players fit and available, Grovians had several players playing out of position.

They started the first half with a strong wind behind them and, after just a few minutes, Ben Brown just fell short with a penalty kick from half way. He then put the visitors in front with a penalty just inside the Wath 22.

After ten minutes the home side broke up field for their opening try. Grovians continued to push Wath back, using the wind to their advantage. On 20 minutes, Grovians won slow lineout ball but a flat pass from centre Danny Secker sent in Joe Harrison under the posts and Brown converted.

Grovians had dominated the territory but Wath struck on 38 minutes - a penalty was kicked to the corner and from the resulting lineout Wath scored a try that was converted to give ths hosts a 12-10 lead.

However, Jack De’ath intercepted near half way to run in right on half-time and Brown converted to give Grovians a 17-12 half-time advantage.

The Wath pack (full of experience and 'grunt') were giving the Grovians a hard time in set scrum and line out. With the wind now behind their backs, it looked a hard task for the inexperienced Grovians.

Indeed Wath scored in the opening minutes of the half as their forwards carried down the field and put in the left wing for a try to level the scores.

Grovians' defence against the big Wath side was heroic and it is to their credit that the hosts resorted to kicking penalty kicks on 64 and 70 minutes.

Wath now led 23-17 with ten minutes to go. Grovians ventured into the Wath 22 for the first time in the half. The hosts were penalised several times and a yellow card was awarded for a deliberate knock on but Grovians couldn't capitalise.

With a minute left Wath deprived Grovians of what would have been a deserved losing bonus point when they kicked their third penalty of the half.

Grovians coach Andy Hinchliffe said: “After a difficult week getting a squad together, the 18 men who travelled to Wath were a credit to the club and themselves.

"Wath fielded the usual heavy and experienced side on their exposed pitch which, combined with the prevailing westerly winds, unfortunately led to another wind-affected game played predominantly in one half of the field.

"At one point our pack had four 18-year-olds who all gave everything.

"The excellent official managed the game well and it was heart breaking to lose the bonus point with just seconds to go. No one left anything on the field. No coach or spectator can ask for more.”

Old Grovians: Kennedy, Yarinakis, J. Harrison, Secker, Dennis, De’ath, Brown, Nesbit, Johnstone, Ryan, Dodd, Elcock, Garforth, Popely, Williams. Replacements: Pickering, Honey, King