Feeley hat-trick crowns fightback by the Tigers as cavalier Bees miss their chance

NATIONAL THREE NORTH/MIDLANDS

Sheffield Tigers 33

Scunthorpe 16

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TRAILING 16-12 at half-time, Sheffield Tigers battled back in style to secure a five-point victory in National Three Midlands.

Previously only separated by scoring difference, the two sides battled well, but it was the South Yorkshire side who came up with the goods after hitting back after the break.

Full-back Jon Feeley scored the first of his three tries early in the match and centre Tom Outram added the extras before winger Elliott Turner scored to make it 12-0 to the Tigers.

Scunthorpe chipped away with three penalties over the next 20 minutes for a variety of offences, and when centre Tom Foster scored Scunthorpe's first try, they had taken the lead.

Tigers maintained their composure, and with their first half headwind now out of the equation, they set about regaining the lead.

Second-row Gregor Hayter drove over on 56 minutes and Outram converted as Tigers went 19-16 ahead, and Outram also added the conversion 12 minutes later, with Feeley scoring after good ball through the backs.

Feeley completed his hat-trick on 78 minutes and Outram added the conversion to give Tigers the win.

Birkenhead Park 42

Bradford & Bingley 26

GAMES involving the Bees are producing some great entertainment with 498 points having been scored in their nine National Three North matches this season.

They seem equally adept at scoring 40 or more points as they are at conceding a similar amount.

For the third time this season, the opposition ran in over 40 in a game the Bees might have pencilled in as a good chance for an away win.

They should probably have come away with at least the additional losing bonus point as, with the scores at 32-26 and normal time ticking down, the Wagon Lane side were pressing the home line looking to steal the win.

Suddenly, the danger was cleared and following a clear push in the back of a Bees defender, Freeman Payne was able to collect the loose ball and put the match beyond doubt as he jogged in to score.

With their next two games against sides in the bottom three of the table, Martin Whitcombe's men have a super opportunity to put this defeat behind them and lift themselves back into the top three as the Bees remain in joint fifth in the table.

One man in the Bees ranks who seems an exception to that lack of consistency is winger Gavin Stead, who took the man-of-the-match plaudits from his coaches after putting in another 20 points plus performance, scoring three tries and claiming three conversions.

Stead has bagged 119 points already this season and tops the points scoring charts for the division.

A poor first half was the Bees' undoing as many in the side failed to get into their stride as the home side raced to a 25-7 lead by half-time, with two scores coming in the 10 minutes leading up to the break.

The Bees front-row were unable to establish their usual upper hand against some monstrous opposition and the usually rampant Tom Cokell and Guy Ford were not the force they can be in and around rucks and mauls.

However, Martyn Mitchell was showing his back-row colleagues how it should be done and was everywhere around the contact area, while Richard Hughes continued his recent rich vein of form in the second-row.

The second period did see the Bees collectively rise to their task, but despite the home side only having 13 men on the field following two yellow cards, the visitors could only add a try from James Morton to their tally on 58 minutes.

Almost as soon as Birkenhead were back to full strength, Stead claimed his second score with the hat-trick try following three minutes later.

A rare miss for the extra points from Stead kept the sides six points apart as the game entered its final 10 minutes, but neither side was able break the deadlock until Payne's try and a penalty in stoppage time eased the home side over the finishing line.

Sandal 23

Middlesbrough 13

Sandal took over as the top Yorkshire side in the division but a tenacious Middlesbrough outfit made them work hard for their win.

Greg Wood darted over to put Sandal in front with Tom Hodson adding the conversion but it was the visitors who were on top for most of the first half and they deserved to take a 10-7 lead with two well-worked tries.

A penalty by Hodson squared things before the break and early in the second half Sandal again went ahead, Alex Orr touching down.

That forced Middlesbrough to take chances and, as the gaps appeared, Sandal struck again, Max Whittingham producing a sparkling piece of skill to create an opening and race in from 50 metres.

The hosts were forced to work hard in defence when they were reduced to 14 men following a sin-binning but, aside from conceding a penalty, they held Middlesbrough at bay and Hodson rounded off the scoring with a penalty.

Beverley 38

Rochdale 26

AFTER a string of narrow defeats, Beverley got a much-needed win against a Rochdale side whose quality of rugby belied their league position.

Beverley got off to a fine start with a super solo try after three minutes from full-back Phil Dale, who jinked his way upfield on a 70-metre run.

Centre Junior Tupai added a second five minutes later with fly-half Phil Dubulay slotting the first of four conversions.

A try in the corner by Rochdale winger Arron Howarth reduced the arrears, but Beverley quickly added further tries by Duboulay, scrum-half Chris Infield and centre Sam Atiolas.

Shortly before half time Rochdale No 8 Mike Bradwell converted a try by lock Nick Duncan.

In the second half, Rochdale full-back James Flitroft went over for a try converted by Bradwell, but this was promptly cancelled out by a try from prop Danny Morris.

Howarth's converted try earned Rochdale a bonus point.