Current County Champions Yorkshire won the opening game of this years Championship with a gripping 12-10 away win aginst Lancashire. The red rose came from 10-0 down to level the scores up before a Craig Holmes penalty two minutes from time gave the white rose the spoils.
Played in persistent rain and on a mud clinging field Yorkshire's defence was magnificent after being stretched on numerous occasions and at the en of the first half defended the line for six sets..
Yorkshire opened the scoring on 18 minutes with a superbly worked try by centre Matt Danville. Andy Gargan passed to Brown who gave out to Holmes, his pass found Sean Hesketh who gave Danville the opening. Holmes magnificent touchline conversion made it 6-0. Lancashire responded but couldn't score as Yorkshire defended their linefor six consecutive sets before the break. Yorkshire second try came on 43 minutes when centre Tim Sutcliffe intercepted 30 meters to make it 10-0.
Lancashire mounted pressure and levelled the game up with two tries in six minutes. Hooker Anthony Atherton put a grubber into the in goal on 65 minutes and won the race to score and then substitute David Sweeney followed a grubber to score and Ian Scofield added the extras.Yorkshire clinched the win two minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty when Matty Myers had the ball stolen 10 meters out in front of the posts. Holmes was the coolest man on the field as he slotted over the kick to win the game.
Lancashire coach Dave Ruddy said "It was a superb game in those conditions, both teams I thought were superb, unluckily for us we came out on the wrong end of a penalty right at the end which was I thought a bit harsh but that's the way it goes. They had in goal touches judges today and we had a try disallowed after he had given it but the referee didn't." Yorkshire coach Alfie Simm
"I'm a very happy man the lads played tremendously well, considering the limited amount of ball they had and the defending and tackling they had to put in. I've never seen a team defend like that, the spirit and enthusiasm to keep them out.
"Craig (Holmes) had a superb game and when you look at the first kick from the touchline that was the real with to notch it over from there. Two pressure kicks and he as very safe at fullback and his talk was good. But there were seventeen man of the matches out there for me today and I'm proud of them all."
LANCASHIRE: 1.Steve Sim (Wigan St Pats), 2. Ian Schofield (Wigan St Patricks),3. Chris Humphreys (Leigh Miners Rangers), 4. John Hughes (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 5. Andy Lyons (Pilkington Recs), 6. Gary Fitzmartin (Leigh Miners Rangers), 7. Scott O'Brien (Leigh Miners Rangers), 8. Andy Rasburn (Wigan St Pats), 9. Anthony Atherton (Wigan St Pats), 10. Andy Forber (Wigan St Patys), 11. Dave Patterson (Leigh Miners Rangers), 12. Richard Owen (Wigan St Patricks), 13. Mel Alker (Wigan St Pats). Subs: 14 Aaron Gorton (Leigh Miners Rangers), 15. David Sweeney (Oldham St Annes), 16. David Hales (Wigan St Patricks), 17. John Rees (Pilkington Recs).
Tries: Atherton (65), Sweeney(71)
Goals: Schofield 1/2
YORKSHIRE: 1.Craig Holmes (Thornhill Trojans), 2. Michael Brown (Eastmoor Dragons), 3. Matt Danville (Skirlaugh), 4. Tim Sutcliffe (West Bowling, 5. Danny Smith (Shaw Cross Sharks), 6. Andy Gargan (York Acorn), 7. Kevein Brown (Eastmoor Dragons), 8. Scott Woodcock (Thornhill Trojans), 9. Paul Brown (Castleford Panthers), 10. Jim Morrow (York Acorn), 11. Jon Eccles (Hull Dockers), 12. Sean Hesketh (Castleford Panthers), 13. Mark Spence (Skirlaugh). Subs: 14. Lee Maskill (SharlstonRovers), 15. Gary Lumb (Sharlston Rovers), 16. Matty Myers (Shaw Cross Sharks), 17. James Fairbank (Elland).
Tries:Danville (18), Sutcliffe (43)
Goals: Holmes 2/3