BIRSTALL VICTORIA continued their impressive home form in the Yorkshire Men’s League as they defeated visitors Sheffield 40-18 at White Lee Road.
In a chaotic start to the game Birstall had a try disallowed for crossing within 30 seconds, and then gave away five penalties in succession to gift Sheffield a six-point lead.
In previous away games this start would have seen Birstall fold, but playing at home the players were in no mood to get beaten and after the rocky start they soon started to get control of the game.
The Vic pack went back to their 2013 form, with some very strong running from Trevor West, Andy Stillwell, Craig Stevens and Phil Hartley which was backed up with some outstanding defence from loose forward Matthew Gowland.
It was West who broke the line on 13 minutes to get within 20 yards of the Sheffield line, and from the play of the ball some excellent passing between hooker Ryan Hardwick, scrum-half Brendan Sheridan and stand-off Dean Arundel put centre Ryan Ginley in the clear to score in the corner.
After 25 minutes, a 40-yard break from Phil Hartley, this time followed by quick passing from Arundel and second-row forward Matthew Smith again put Ginley clear for his second try of the game.
Only five minutes later, Ginley turned provider when the left side attack clicked into gear and he hit winger Josh Lockwood for his first try of the season.
The first-half masterclass from centre Ginley was completed after 35 minutes, when once again Arundel tormented the Sheffield defensive line before passing to the centre for him to complete his 22-minute hat-trick.
The score gave the hosts a half-time lead of only 18-6, after a disappointing first half from goal-kicker Mick Dyson.
The second half got off to a flying start when Birstall received an early penalty 20 yards out and from the tap Andy Stillwell came on to the ball like a train, taking four Sheffield players over the line with him to score.
There were two further secon-half tries, this time converted by Dyson, as first Arundel crossed the line after linking with Sheridan and then Hartley powered over from 10 yards.
A great all-round display for Birstall Victoria again at home, with a full-time score of 40-18. Joint man-of-the-match went to Ginley and Gowland.
Birstall’s next game is at Elland A tomorrow (Saturday 2.30pm).