ST JOSEPH’S returned to winning ways with a 34-26 Premier Division triumph over New Earswick All Blacks.
But the early signs were worrying, with the home side making a poor start and looking to be suffering a hangover from last week’s shock Holliday cup defeat to Emley Moor as the visitors opened up a 12- 0 lead after 15 minutes.
Fortunately, the introduction of substitute James Bracken appeared to lift the home side and, after a period of sustained pressure, the tide began to turn as loose forward Joe Flaherty raced 75m for a great individual try.
This was closely followed by a 50m try from winger Richard Aka following good work from scrum half Darren Kelly. Neil Barrett converted both tries and the home side looked to be in control.
But Joe’s were then guilty of several dropped passes which New Earswick took full advantage of to score two tries just before half time to give the York side a 20-12 interval advantage.
It got even worse early in the second period when the All Blacks scored again to make it 26-12.
But, thankfully, that last score finally provided the wake-up call and Joe’s then started to dominate, with the forwards, led by the outstanding Phil Simpson, taking control.
Hooker Joel Hawkyard started the recovery with a close-range try, converted by Barrett, and this was followed by a brace of tries from centre Shaun Mitchell, the second of which was a length-of-the-field passing move involving four men.
Aka then completed his double when he outpaced the cover to score before Craig Lee was just denied on the line as the referee blew the final whistle to signal a much-needed win for Joe’s.
Whilst assistant coach Andy Baimbridge was delighted with the score and the second-half recovery, he was also concerned about the number of errors which nearly cost the game. Joe’s man-of-the-match was Simpson, closely followed by Flaherty and Hawkyard.