A CRACKING hat trick of tries by winger Gareth Greenwood gave YMCA their fourth win of the season – and a vital Yorkshire I survival lifeline.
The new-look Laund Hill side scored six tries in all, and although it may be too early to say they have turned the corner, at least they can see around it!
This win against the division’s basement side, which put YM two points behind third-bottom Keighley (with two to go down) would have been even more emphatic had two tries not have been ruled out because of forward passes.
And the visitors were flattered by a couple of late scores.
They did take a fourth-minute lead through Andy Benbow, courtesy of non-existent YM tackling.
But Greenwood’s first try settled YM nerves, and from that point a home win always looked likely.
It was midway through the half before Neil Walker broke from inside his own 22, and sent centre Gavin Stead away, who in turn found Jamie Marsden on his shoulder.
The former Halifax man drew his man perfectly before releasing Greenwood who raced in from 50 metres.
Stead hit the upright with his conversion attempt, but did add a 35th-minute penalty, before Nick Pope levelled things with a drop goal.
Stead was also involved in YM’s second try, when he scooped up a pass off his bootlaces before finding busy scrum half Josh Marshall, who burrowed his way over.
Stead’s kick shaved the wrong side of the posts.
With Stuart Dyke on for Kevin Hellawell, YM consolidated their lead on their first attack of the second half when, from a Stead run, Marshall took a quick tap penalty to James Bracken who sent fly-half James Swift under the posts.
Swift, who along with full-back Arron Canning and Marsden was also making his debut, took over the kicking duties to convert his own try.
And YM really began to up the tempo as Bracken was the next name of the scoresheet, following another decisive break which the wing-forward carried on himself to go over near the sticks for another simple conversion.
Former Huddersfield player Swift looked very assured, with decisive kicking and quick handling, allowing the threequarters to see plenty of the ball.
Marsden was next to rip open Redcar’s flimsy defence, beating several players on a jinking run which should have ended in another try, but his long pass out to the wing just evaded hooker Martyn Dalton.
Two minutes later Marsden himself was denied a score after a forward pass.
Young scrum half Ashley Walker replaced Marshall on 55 minutes, while Ross Housley came on for Stead, who suffered minor concussion after being left on the deck during another run down the flank.
Neil Walker moved into the centres, and temporarily YM seemed to lose their way until another fine break from Bracken down the right sent full-back Canning away.
Unfortunately, lack of match fitness told as the ex-Halifax man ran out of legs and was tackled inches from the line.
Redcar laid on, however, and from the ensuing penalty, Ash Walker whipped out the tap to Greenwood who scored wide out, Swift again converting.
Another try chance went begging on 73 minutes, when Chris Belton, Housley and Ash Walker combined really well with a splendid section of inter-passing between the three, only for the last pass to Belton again ruled forward.
But there was still time from Greenwood to complete his hat trick, again helped by fine work from Bracken, as the winger went under the posts, leaving Swift a fourth successful conversion.
In between Redcar took advantage of some more slack tackling to add tries from Andy Wills and Richard Young, both converted by the latter to just take a bit of gloss of YM’s win.
There is still plenty of work to do – but at last the signs now look encouraging.
YMCA: Canning; Belton, Stead (Housley, 60mins), Marsden, Greenwood; Swift, Marshall (Walker (A) 55mins); Watson, Dalton, Gregson, Whitehead, Hellawell (Dyke (Stuart), HT), Bracken, Dyke (Stephen), Walker (N).
Referee: Jonathan Hill (Yorkshire Society).