Round-up: Hull Ionians secure National One status at Wharfedale

Wharfedale's Jamie Guy. Picture Scott Merrylees
Wharfedale's Jamie Guy. Picture Scott Merrylees
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Hull Ionians secured their place in National One in this close encounter at the Avenue against Wharfedale, prevailing 18-10.

Dale have ended their 20-year long position in the third tier of English Rugby. They have come close to the drop before but it was still a bitter pill to swallow.

Dale had the better of the first half but Hull benefitted from a very high penalty count and converted two shots to lead 6-0 at the break.

Because of foul play from Edward Falkingham, just before half-time, Hull started the second half with 14 men, allowing Jamie Guy to slot a penalty for the hosts.

A lovely move in the centre put Cameron Hudson over, with Guy adding the extras.

But Wharfedale’s Josh Burridge was yellow-carded, leading to two Ionians tries, one a converted penalty try with Joseph Makin later going over in the corner.

Otley narrowly lost out 
32-28 at home in National Two (North) after Luctonians scored a try five minutes from the end.

After Luctonians scored an early try, winger Kristian Sharples had his eighth-minute effort converted by Stephen Depledge to level. A further score from the visitors was again negated by Otley with flanker Matthew Heaton scoring and Depledge converting as Otley took a 14-12 lead.

A penalty and two more tries put Luctonians into a 25-14 lead, only for Otley to hit back again with Heaton and centre James White both going over, with Josh Cruise kicking the extras.

But Luctonians’ late try and conversion snatched the points.

Sandal drew 20-20 at Tynedale, with stand-off Greg Wood kicking all five of their penalties and prop Luke Norbury scoring their try.

Harrogate took an early lead at South Leicester with No 8 Willem Enslin scoring a try and full-back Lewis Minikin converting.

But their hosts scored 36 unanswered points in the next 55 minutes. Minikin and stand-off Callun Irvine both scored late tries which they both converted themselves.

Tries from centre Thomas Owen, hooker Ross Thornton and replacement Chris Bell were not enough for Huddersfield, who lost 57-17 at Preston Grasshoppers.

National Three North champions Sheffield Tigers slipped up 17-13 on their visit to mid-table Billingham, salvaging a losing bonus point, while runners-up Wirral scored a bonus-point win at Birkenhead Park. Scrum-half Ryan Holmes and second row Aaron Langham scored their tries, but Billingham were the hungrier side.

Hull moved up when they triumphed 29-23 at home to third-placed Lymm, twice fighting from behind and clinching the match with a late penalty by Josh Bragman and a bonus try from James Chraves.

Sheffield slipped two places to sixth behind their rivals and Hull when they lost 18-5 to Firwood Waterloo at Abbeydale Park after their centre Gareth Morley had scored the only try of the first half.

Elsewhere, Cleckheaton were 25-12 winners at home against Rossendale, while Ilkley also won at home, beating Huddersfield YMCA 32-27.

After securing the North One East title, Doncaster Phoenix played the last 10 minutes with 14 men and had to settle for two bonus points when they were beaten 29-24 at runners-up Morley, both teams scoring four tries.

Alnwick stayed on the pace in third place with a 43-12 home victory over Driffield, while an under-strength Dinnington, who beat their rivals 12-3 at home, crashed to a 43-15 defeat at fourth placed West Hartlepool.

Pocklington scored four tries in a 24-14 win over South Shields Westoe, while bottom-placed Beverley salvaged a losing bonus when they were beaten 31-25 at home to Percy Park.

Bradford and Bingley put the Yorkshire One title out of reach of their rivals when they scored a 23-8 home win over Malton and Norton.

Scrum-half Richard Scull scored two of the Bees’ three tries. Malton will play off against Middlesbrough, the Durham and Northumberland runners-up.

Third placed Bridlington scored five tries in a 32-11 home win over Heath, winger Gary Stevens scoring two of their five tries.

West Leeds, the Yorkshire Two champions, scored a bonus in their 29-5 win at Ripon.