Dalton 0 Underbank 18

UNDERBANK went home with both points after a closely-contested Pennine League match in true wintry conditions as snow swept across Kelland Park for the entire 80 minutes.

It was pointless at the break and, in an encounter that saw both defences on top, it looked like it was going to end up 0-0 as the teams found it difficult to get over the try-line.

Then in the 47th minute came a piece of good fortune for the Huddersfield side and heartache for the home players – especially last week’s winning try-scoring hero Tom Sharp.

A chip to the corner from 20 yards out saw Sharp needing to defend his line.

He had the ball under control then went to ground in the slippery conditions. The ball came loose and following up the kick, centre Joe Bellas was on hand to gather and touch down in the corner.

Oliver Moorhouse added a fine touchline conversion. However, both teams strived for further points and it was the visitors who came up trumps with two late tries.

Underbank took the game to their hosts when a sweeping attack involving Luke France, Doyle King and Moorehouse sent winger Steve Woodcock heading for the corner, but the cover bundled him into touch.

The home defence had to pull out all the stops in the opening minutes as loose forward France parted to Jamie Spencer who was held a foot from the line.

Dalton came slowly into the frame and, when Lee Park was taken high, a quick tap penalty saw Joe Braund-Smith head for the line only to be halted short.

From the play-the-ball, Ryan Johnston found space to crash over, only for a double movement to be ruled.

A counter-attack saw Spencer break clear to take play deep, but Johnston was on hand to avert further danger as he pulled off a great tackle.

Dalton then put a neat attack together as Johnston, Baines and Tippett released Sharp, but he was tackled 20 yards out but was taken high.

From the tap, a chip through the cover saw Braund-Smith fail by inches to touch down as both he and the ball went over the dead-ball line. This spurred on the home side as Smith, Johnston and Baines all linked to send Tippett to the line, but he found his way blocked by several defenders.

At the other end, prop Darren Sewell lost the ball in trying to cross the line.

Dalton took the scrum 10 yards from their own line but lost possession on the first tackle.

Under pressure, Dalton had to work hard to keep Underbank out as second row forward Chris Lumley was held inches short.

Bellas did cross shortly after, but a forward pass was ruled.

As the half came to a close, Lumley once more lost the ball in trying to score.

Dalton started the second half brightly with Brown going close.

But then disaster struck on 47 minutes as Sharp slipped and lost control and in nipped Bellas to score and Moorhouse converted.

Again good defence halted Underbank from scoring as they ran out of tackles, with substitute Nathan Lewis stopped a foot short.

Dalton were determined to stand firm as was evident when six players converged on Spencer as he tried to force his way over.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, prop Sewell was shown the red card by match official Curtis Braithwaite for allegedly stamping on the head of Baines.

Underbank stretched their lead to eight points with a 30-yard penalty goal from Moorhouse following a high tackle to give them breathing space.

It was now going to be an uphill struggle for the home side, despite the one-man advantage, and they fell away in the closing stages as Spencer broke free to coast in from 25 yards.

Moorhouse added the goal and to round off the scoring Spencer touched down in the final minute.