19 May


Yorkshire 23  Lancashire 29 

By Dave Campbell 

Yorkshire and Lancashire produced a game full of skill, pace and commitment in sweltering conditions at a packed Silver Royd, with the red rose county just edging it with an interception try late in the game.

The opening exchanges were played at a furious pace with perhaps Lancashire having the early edge but Yorkshire quickly tuned to the pace and tempo of the game much to the delight of the crowd basking in the mini heat wave. 

The red rose men exerted pressure on the flanks where wingers Warren Spragg and Oli Brennand were giving their opposite numbers a testing time; however defences held sway and just when it looked as if the first quarter would go scoreless, Brennand scampered down the left touchline before releasing scrum-half Ryan de la Harpe who powered over for the opening score of the game in the 19th minute. Fly-half Chris Johnson added the extras for a 7-0 Lancashire lead.

 Spurred into action Yorkshire redoubled their efforts and drove deep into red rose territory where left wing Chris McTurk danced through a plethora of uncharacteristic Lancashire non-tackles only to be stopped just short of the line in the 21st minute. However the Tykes got their reward five minutes later when they won a five metre scrum near the posts; the ball was moved infield from the base and stand-off Jamie Lennard powered over. The conversion was missed and Yorkshire trailed by a couple of points at 5-7.

 Play swung from end to end throughout the second quarter but Yorkshire grabbed the lead on the stroke of half time when, following a five metre lineout, McTurk pounced on a loose ball and scurried under the posts to score. Lennard added the extras and Yorkshire led 12-7 at the break. 

An exciting second half in which the lead changed hands five times started with a Lancashire try from a drive near the line in the 42nd minute with scrum-half Harpe coming up with the ball. Johnson failed to convert and the scores were tied at 12-12. 

In a fast and furious third quarter of the game, the Tykes grabbed the lead back with a penalty from half way by Lennard in the 46th minute, a further Brennand try converted by Johnson regained the lead at 19-15 for Lancashire in the 55th minute before an unconverted try from a rolling maul for Yorkshire on the hour saw them lead 20-19. 

The seesaw nature of the game continued into the final quarter with Johnson kicking a 68th minute penalty for a 22-20 Lancashire lead. Going into the final ten minutes of the game Yorkshire piled on the pressure in the Lancs 22 but a loose pass saw wingman Spragg intercept and race the length of the field to score in the 72nd minute. Johnson converted to put light between the teams         at 29-20. 

The Tykes laid siege to the Lancashire line but even when the visitors lost a player to the sin bin they just couldn’t get over. A late Jamie Lennard penalty reduced the arrears to six points at 29-23 but time had run out for Yorkshire. 

The Roses protagonists produced a hugely entertaining game worthy of the occasion on another successful and well supported county day at Scarborough Rugby Club.  

The men’s County Championship clash was preceded by the women’s Roses game between Yorkshire Ladies and Lancashire ladies. The game was played in perfect conditions in front of a sizeable crowd including a very vocal and good natured Lancashire Ladies contingent. Yorkshire made the best possible start to the game scoring in their first foray into Lancashire territory and with the conversion added, led 7-0 with only a minute on the clock. Unfortunately it was their only score of the game and Lancashire went on to run in three converted first half tries to lead 21-7 at the break. Although the second half was by no means one sided the red rose ladies went on to score 20 second half points without reply, running out deserved 41-7 winners of an entertaining game.






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