Yorkshire Rugby Union: Charlie Venables the difference as Leeds Tykes finally win on travels

Leeds Tykes secured their first away win of the season and stepped up one place in the National One table with a 17-15 victory over hosts Cambridge on Saturday.

Andrew Lawson raced in for first try which sparked Leeds Tykes’ winning comeback in National One at Cambridge. Picture: Tony Johnson

The home side stunned the Yorkshire outfit with three tries in the opening few minutes, No 8 Anthony Maka, scrum-half Jake Garside and centre Matt Hema all touching down – but crucially none of the conversions were made because of a swirling wind.

Tykes got off the mark before the break, though, with full-back Andrew Lawson racing in and centre Charlie Venables adding the conversion. Suddenly, the game looked very much there for the taking.

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With the wind mostly on their backs after the break, Leeds dug in, and some strong defensive work ensured Cambridge were held out.

Prop Xavier Valentine crashed over around the hour mark and Venables converted to close to within one point at 15-14, and when Cambridge were caught offside Venables’s penalty proved the difference between the two sides.

Tykes are now third from bottom on 19 points, one clear of Plymouth Albion and three ahead of Tonbridge Juddians.

Huddersfield’s return to form continued with a deserved 23-7 victory over Yorkshire rivals Harrogate in National Two North.

The visitors drew first blood with No 8 Declan Thompson racing in for a try on 15 minutes converted by scrum-half Kit Keith. But that was to be their first and last score.

Full-back Tom Hodson touched down for Huddersfield on 26 minutes, and although the conversion and a penalty a few minutes later were both missed by centre Will Milner, he did find the gap between the sticks from a 38th minute penalty to put Huddersfield 8-7 ahead at half-time.

A second penalty came on 57 minutes, and he converted hooker Liam Stapley’s 72nd-minute try to put his side 18-7 ahead.

Centre Lewis Workman’s try in the final minute ensured the victory was theirs.

Huddersfield are now fourth from bottom, three points ahead of Wharfedale, whohave played a game more, seven ahead of Harrogate and 11 clear of Blaydon.

Promotion-chasing Rotherham Titans ran in 11 tries on their way to a 71-5 demolition of hosts Loughborough Students.

The Titans moved up to third on the back of this win and are now within one victory of top of table Stourbridge.

Hooker Harry Newborn was first to score after just two minutes, stand-off Matthew Minogue converting, and Newborn added a second six minutes later.

No 8 Callum Bustin and centre Harry Dunne raced in on 18 and 29 minutes as Rotherham secured a four-try bonus point early in the match.

Winger James Cooke touched down three minutes later, and Newborn completed his hat-trick on 37 minutes, Minogue converting all but one of the touchdowns to make it 38-0 at the break.

Newborn’s fourth came on 48 minutes, and scrum-half Sam Boxhall added another on the hour mark to make it 50-0.

Replacements Marcus Payne, Francis Entressengle and Matthew Drennan all scored late on to cap the win.

Wharfedale dropped to third bottom after losing out 24-13 at Tynedale.

Right winger Hamilton scored their only try just after half-time with centre Davidson kicking the conversion and two penalties, but it was not enough to catch Tynedale.

The wintry weather caused the postponement of Hull’s home game against Bournville and the Yorkshire derby match between Sheffield Tigers and Hull Ionians.

Unbeaten Otley remain top of the North Premier table despite their game at Alnwick falling victim to the weather.

York missed a chance to climb the table after losing out 49-24 at Blackburn, while Sandal were also left without a match after their scheduled game at Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria was postponed.

Leaders Driffield secured a 38-14 victory at bottom of the table Bradford and Bingley to consolidate their lead.

Old Brodleians are now second after losing out by the narrowest of margins at third-placed Heath, 19-18.

Pocklington were 20-7 winners over Cleckheaton to boost their title hopes.