Team spirit serves Ionians as weakened Tigers are beaten

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Hull Ionians received the accolade of having the best team spirit Westoe had seen for years, spirit which deservedly brought them a fifth win in a row.

Westoe had the slope and diagonal wind advantage for the first half but were stung by a fast start by the visitors with Adam Thomas diving over.

Westoe hit straight back with their pack driving No 8 Ben Frankland over but Ionians retook the lead when Joe Sanders crashed over. James Clark raced in for Westoe as the game continued to ebb and flow. Westoe took a half-time lead with a Mark Bedworth penalty.

Ionians pinned Westoe at the bottom of the slope for the next 30 minutes but could not make the break through, twice crossing but being pulled back, but on 41 and 54 minutes two well struck penalties by Dave Marshall gave Hull Ionians victory. Ionians had three Thundercliffe brothers in their team; Albert, Luke and Josh.

Sheffield Tigers had to settle for a losing bonus point after struggling to cope with a string of unavailabilities.

Coach Richard Senior was without a six first-team players.

Things began well for Tigers with stand-off Jonny West kicked a penalty after 11 minutes, and although Luctonians matched it two minutes later with winger John Morris kicking the penalty, Tigers retook the lead on 26 minutes with second-row Gregor Hayter touching down, West converting for a 10-3 lead.

Luctonians’ Alex James scored three minutes before the break, Morris adding the conversion.

Tigers edged back in front with Hayter’s second try, but the home side hit back with centre William Richards touching down, Morris adding a conversion.

Tigers pushed hard but Luctonians sealed the win with Morris crashing over; the missed conversion leaving them with a losing bonus.

In perfect conditions both sides committed themselves to all out attack, Otley coming out second best but collecting a bonus point against a side who are undefeated at home since September.

They are proving adept at early scores and centre Michael Coady was quickly over for winger Ben Collins to convert but No 8 Phillip Horton powered over on 11 minutes, full-back Jon Critchlow kicking the first of seven conversions to level. Christian Georgiou then raced over, Collins converting to regain the lead.

A second try from Horton and one from winger Warren Oliver gave Bromsgrove a 21-15 half-time lead, Collins having kicked a penalty for Otley and they moved further ahead after the interval with a penalty and a brace of tries from Ben Howard.

This evoked a positive reponse from Otley who grabbed two quick tries from Georgiou and winger James Henry. But the Midlanders edged clear at the end.

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