FOUR second-half tries secured Old Grovians’ third win the last four matches as they beat rock-bottom hosts Thornensians 25-20 to move up to fourth-bottom in Yorkshire Two.

In the first half, Grovians’ only score came from a penalty by Luke Bentley after 21 minutes, which gave his side the lead.

This came just after the visitors’ Chris Blackhall was taken to hospital with a suspected broken jaw (later confirmed) from a high tackle that was missed by the referee.

Little mistakes from Grovians, like missed penalty kicks to touch, enabled Thornes to dominate possession and they scored two tries in the last ten minutes of the half.

The first one was scored by their scrum-half, as he darted over from a ruck, and the second came from their number eight, as he peeled off a scrum close to the line.

That meant the Bradford side trailed 12-3 at the break.

But 10 minutes into the second half, Grovians struck back when Max Kennedy chipped ahead and managed to feed the ball back as he was tackled to Ed Brown, who dived over.

On 60 minutes, Grovians took the lead.

A lineout was won on the right on the edge of Thornensians 22’ and fed along the line.

Kennedy broke one tackle to feed Kobe O’Brien, who scored.

Grovians, realising the big Thornensians pack were tiring, began to run the ball at every opportunity.

Thornensians retook the lead, making it 15-13 with a penalty, but in the last 10 minutes Kennedy proved to be the match winner.

A scrum 10 metres from the Grovians line was won and Brown fed the backs, with Kennedy cutting through the middle of the defence and running the length of the field to score.

Brown converted to give Grovians a 20-15 lead.

Soon after, a Thornensians attack into the Grovians’ 22 was ruined by a knock-on.

Brown quickly picked up the ball, fed Kennedy on the left wing and he raced the length of the field again to score to put Grovians 25-15 in front.

Thornensians did get themselves a losing bonus point, by scoring a try right at the death.

After the game, Grovians coach Andy Hinchliffe insisted the win was almost secondary, saying: “This season is all about building for the future.

“We benefit from using the excellent training facilities at Yarnbury and from the link with Otley RUFC, where we now play our home matches.

“The relationship with local schools and universities has become stronger and the club finances are being well-managed and are much healthier.”

Elsewhere in Yorkshire Two, leaders Keighley dismantled poor Ripon 100-8, in a club record score, while mid-table Baildon edged out Wensleydale 30-25 in a cracking contest.

Up in North One East, rock-bottom Bradford & Bingley were thumped 59-3 at Durham City, but Cleckheaton picked up an excellent 16-10 win at title rivals Old Brodleians.

Finally, struggling Wibsey were beaten 29-5 away to table-toppers Barnsley in Yorkshire Three.