26th June 2018, 10:26 | ncl
Skirlaugh stand-off Reece Dean turned on the style as Yorkshire eased to a comfortable victory in the inaugural NCL War of the Roses clash.
Dean contributed 14 of his side's points with two tries and three goals and, in addition, tormented Lancashire throughout with a litany of testing kicks and passes.
The first of his touchdowns, in which he crashed over after a 15-metre arcing run a minute before the break, helped the Tykes to a 20-0 interval lead.
And his second, a 90-metre interception score off a pass by his opposite number, Pilkington Recs’ Greg Smith, within two minutes of the restart, left Lancashire, whose cause was undermined by indifferent ball control, with a mountain to climb, despite both of his conversions going wide.
The Red Rose men, to their credit, threatened to do just that.
Winger Tyler Spence of Wigan St Patrick's squeezed in at the corner off a pass by Thatto Heath second row Matty Norton, despite a brave challenge by Featherstone Lions centre Gaz Gale, Smith adding the extras.
And, on 55 minutes, Lancashire found themselves only twelve points adrift, Yorkshire allowing a high kick to bounce and paying for their hesitation when, after the ball had been booted on once more, Egremont second row Keiron Glenn made the most of the confusion to pounce.
Smith again improved - and the next score was clearly going to be important.
It went, on the hour, to the hosts - thanks largely to another towering figure in the shape of Hunslet Club Parkside prop Jamie Fields, who powered to the line and got a pass out to York Acorn winger Jordan Potter, who managed to dot the ball down despite the attentions of a posse of defenders.
Fields, who had already landed a couple of goals, was just short with the conversion attempt; and with ten minutes left, the packman was sin-binned by impressive referee Tara Jones after exchanging blows with Norton after Spence had been halted in the corner, Norton also copping a yellow card.
Yorkshire went on to seal their win with tries in the last four minutes for Lock Lane substitute Luke Tagg and Gale, the first of which Dean goaled.
The Tykes, with props John Elkington (Milford) and Fields setting a strong platform, had opened strongly, Potter being unable to ground the ball after collecting Dean's precision kick to the corner.
Lancashire, after having withstood strong pressure, began to make inroads through Norton and fellow Thatto man Andy Lea, and went close to going in front against the run of play when a break, sparked by Smith and continued by Norton, closed with Spence crossing, only to have his effort vetoed for a forward pass.
Yorkshire had opened their account on thirteen minutes when a Dean grubber was spilled by otherwise impressive Pilks fullback Ryan Hilliard, the ball falling into the hands of already grounded Skirlaugh hooker Jon Gay - another figure who was busily effective throughout - for perhaps the easiest try he will ever score.
Just a couple of minutes later, Gale steamed over out wide off another astute Dean pass, Fields converting, and the home side went 14 points clear soon after the half-hour mark, courtesy of a Dean penalty from some 18 metres out. And Dean's double-whammy, straddling the interval, effectively scuppered Lancashire’s hopes.
1 Craig McShane (Hunslet Club Parkside)
5 Gareth Blackburn (Siddal)
4 Gareth Gale (Featherstone Lions)
3 Freddie Walker (Siddal)
2 Jordan Potter (York Acorn)
7 Nathan Slater (Myton Warriors)
6 Reece Dean (Skirlaugh)
8 John Elkington (Milford Marlins)
9 Jon Gay (Skirlaugh)
10 Jamie Fields (Hunslet Club Parkside)
15 Jack Ledger (Oulton Raiders)
12 James Barker (Milford Marlins)
13 Jamie Bradley (Hunslet Club Parkside)
14 Danny Glassell (Featherstone Lions)
17 Luke Tagg (Lock Lane)
11 Jack Howdle (Beverley)
18 Rob Stanley (Oulton Raiders)
16 Antony Chilton (York Acorn)
Tries: Gay (13), Gale (15, 80), Dean (39, 42), Potter (60), Tagg (76)
Goals: Fields 2/3, Dean 3/5
1 Ryan Hilliard (Pilkington Recs)
2 Tyler Spence (Wigan St Patrick’s)
3 Ethan Langhorn (Saddleworth Rangers)
4 Connor Parkinson (Wigan St Jude’s)
5 Darrion Ball (Wigan St Jude’s)
6 Greg Smith (Pilkington Recs)
7 Joe Bold (Egremont Rangers)
8 Gareth Morgan (Saddleworth Rangers)
9 Sean Kenny (Thatto Heath Crusaders)
10 Jamie Bristo (Wigan St Patrick’s)
11 Keiron Glenn (Egremont Rangers)
12 Matty Norton (Thatto Heath Crusaders)
13 Andy Lea (Thatto Heath Crusaders)
14 Jack Reynolds (Leigh Miners Rangers)
15 Matthew Meadon (Ince Rose Bridge)
16 Ryan Hickman (Woolston Rovers)
17 Mike Stark (Thatto Heath Crusaders)
18 Daryl Kay (Leigh Miners Rangers)
Tries: Spence (50), Glenn (53)
Goals: Smith 2/2
Man of the Match: Reece Dean
Referee: Tara Jones