YMCA brought the curtain down on a pretty mixed season with a 29-17 victory over Barnsley to finish mid-table in Yorkshire II.
Adam Ryder scored a second successive hat trick of tries to take his tally for the year to 17 – two of which came during the early part of the season spent at neighbouring Huddersfield – as the Laund Hill team fought back from 11 points down.
And it was a particularly good result as Barnsley were determined to put on a good show as this was the 25th anniversary of the club winning the Yorkshire Shield.
With a heavier pack Barnsley opened the scoring when their skipper Appleyard dropped a goal before their outside centre Gaunt shimmied his way through for the opening try and although Appleyard missed the conversion he did slot over a penalty for an 11-0 lead.
YM then hit back with a super try, started by James Swift passing from inside is own 22 to Gavin Stead who raced forward drew his man well and released Ryder to do what he does best and show a clean pair of heels to the defence.
Stead added the conversion to leave them 14-7 down at the break, Appleyard having struck a penalty.
From the re-start it was obvious that Barnsley’s big forwards were struggling to keep the pace up and YM were soon on the board again, this time a brilliant solo effort from the other winger Chris Beever, who fielded a kick inside his own 22 and set off at full tilt towards the oncoming defenders, which he jinked and dazzled past them all on the way to the line, Stead again converting.
YM now began to pile on the pressure, and after the ball went through the hands of Simon Wilson, Swift, Tim Horner and Stead, Ryder put the final touches to a great move.
Appleyard and Stead swapped penalties to make it 22-17 before Ryder clinched it when he was the first to react to a Wilson box kick, which the winger took off the full-back’s nose and scooted for his hat trick, leaving Stead with an easy conversion.
YMCA: Emsley, Ryder, Stead, Shaw, Beever (Williams 70), Swift, Wilson ; Dyke (Ste), Lyon, Dyke (Stu), Lumb (Wood 65), Housley, Hodge, van Niekirk, Sharrock.