Dewsbury Rams 30
York Knights 10
By Angela Walker
DEWSBURY Rams made a winning start to their Co-operative Championship campaign serving up enough positive features to suggest that they will more than hold their own this season.
Apart from a short period either side of half-time when the Knights tried to rally, the Rams were fully in control.
Centre, Ayden Faal will take the deserved plaudits for his two tries, but there was much to admire throughout the Dewsbury line-up.
Dwayne Barker was a real livewire and posed a persistent threat with his pace and quick hands while Austin Buchanan created mayhem for the York defence from the first minute onwards. Patch Walker showed he is in form with a magnificent first half penalty which will have extended his range.
Josh Tonks stamped his authority on the game and helped to put a lid on things when they threatened to get heated. In the second half George Flanagan came off the bench to help the Rams finish the match with a flourish.
It says much for the can-do attitude of Dewsbury’s approach to the game that York barely touched the ball before the home side scored their first try. Scott Spaven’s kick-off was chased down by Buchanan, he scragged York full-back Ben Hellewell into touch and from the York drop-out the ball was moved across the field via Craig Cook, Patch Walker and Luke Blake. Ben Jones and Tonks got in on the act before James Craven saw Buchanan galloping down the wing and he went in at the corner flag.
Walker missed the touchline conversion.
If there is a criticism of Dewsbury’s first-half play it would have to be that they didn’t get enough reward for their dominant play.
Faal and Buchanan’s instinctive inter-play appeared to have yielded a second Dewsbury try after seven minutes but it was ruled out by referee Ronnie Laughton for a forward pass.
Steve Crossley was then held up over the line after he finished off his own searing break.
The Rams made it count though when Cook combined with Walker to set Faal clear and he eluded the York defender to score. Walker’s goal gave the Rams a 10-0 lead.
York were given a let-off when Scott Spaven and Walker made good ground and set up a neat inside pass to Barker but he was tackled ahead of the line.
York tried to press with former Dewsbury man Jordan Tansey getting into the Rams’ half but when the move broke down Buchanan tried to make a break but he was halted by a head high tackle and Walker opted to go for goal from 60 metres out. He got an excellent strike on it through the posts to give the home side a 12-0 lead at half-time.
York came out with the bit between their teeth after the break exerting pressure on the Rams, it was no surprise when full-back Hellewell intercepted a pass just inside his own half and received willing support from Tom Bush to score. Hellewell missed the conversion.
Dewsbury regained the initiative when Flanagan was introduced from the bench. He was on the end of a flowing move involving Spaven and Jones but was held up.
A crossfield kick set the Rams on the front foot again and Barker dived over to score. Walker added the extras to give them an 18-4 lead with 24 minutes of the game remaining.
There was a brief flurry of indignation at Chris Thorman’s high tackle on Flanagan but it was calmed down and on 67 minutes Faal put the game beyond York when he took a slick pass from Craven to score. Walker’s conversion gave the Rams a 24-4 lead.
Immediately York hit back with a try from Dave Sutton who pounced when Billy Harris fumbled the ball. Thorman added the extras for York.
There was plenty of urgency in the Rams side which was rewarded when the hard-working Tonks went over for the final try after good build-up play by Barker, Walker and Faal.
Walker’s successful kick sent the Rams fans home happy, though they know there will be stiffer tests ahead.