YMCA have obviously saved their best until very nearly the last, as they blazed to a stunning 34-0 victory over mid-table Knottingley at Laund Hill.
In their penultimate home game of what has been a pretty disappointing season, YM ran Knottingley ragged and showed just what they are capable of when they string it all together for a full 80 minutes.
It looked ominous for YM in the opening stages as Knottingley’s heavy pack looked like taking over, but YM’s defence held tight, and with outstanding performances from Alex Whittaker, Tom Torrance and debutant Sam Hodge the visitors’ big men were repeatedly flung back.
The match remained scoreless for 30 minutes, but YM suddenly burst clear when scrum half Josh Marshall cleverly slipped his marker at the base of the ruck, created a hint of space and then passed to Stuart Morton who held on long enough to draw the cover, before the final pass to Adam Ryder who outpaced his opposite number to cross in the right corner.
The Laund Hill side had two more chances in the dying moments of the half, but were denied by some tenacious Knottingley defence.
However, the second half started in the same vein, and five minutes after the re-start they were over again, this time the move being started by second rower Kevin Hellawell who found himself wide out on the left flank.
He drew the covering tackler before off-loading to wing Chris Beever, who put in a well-judged grubber kick and then won the race to touch down near the posts.
Jamie Marsden missed the first attempt but made no mistake this time to put YM into double figures, and after that it was one-way traffic as YM’s lighter pack got to the breakdown quicker, and were speedier all over the park than their heavier opponents who were starting to struggle after being given the run around.
Gavin Stead came off the bench on 51 minutes and immediately carved out an opening before kicking through for supporting full-back Simon Wilson to race on and score.
Unfortunately, Knottingley’s No7 Bradley cynically dived on Wilson after the try, which led to the young full-back suffering injury and having to leave the field to be replaced by James Swift – Bradley leaving the field for just 10 minutes (sin-binned).
YM were now blitzing their opponents, Tom Torrance the next to create a chance, opening up the defence before passing to Morton, the speedy centre squeezing through for his side’s fourth try.
Marshall then set up the try of the game as he bullied his way through three sets of would-be tacklers to emerge into open space, and his pass to the ever-present Neil Walker showed the back rower still has pace to burn as he sprinted 40 yards for a stunning try.
Morton capped the scoring when he followed up a kick-through from Aussie Torrance to score the game’s final points.
YMCA: Wilson (Swift 50), Ryder, Morton, Wood (Stead 40), Beever, Marsden, Marshall, Dyke, Whittaker, Dalton (Sellers 65), Hellawell, Whitehead, Walker, Hodge, Torrance.