Nagle-Taylor steams in for hat-trick but Titans’ fightback comes up just short

CLOSE CALL: Sheffield Tigers' Mark Ireland was in the points at the weekend, but coud not prevent an opening day defeat to Hull Ionians in National Two. Hull came out 35-33 winners. Picture: Tony Johnson
CLOSE CALL: Sheffield Tigers' Mark Ireland was in the points at the weekend, but coud not prevent an opening day defeat to Hull Ionians in National Two. Hull came out 35-33 winners. Picture: Tony Johnson
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Relegated Rotherham Titans started their National One campaign with a 34-33 defeat to Old Elthamians at Clifton Lane.

Trailing by 15 points late in the game, the Titans hit back with two converted tries but had to settle for two bonus points as they came up just short.

After Old Elthamians had taken a 10-0 lead after 18 minutes, Rotherham got off the mark with No 8 Sebastian Nagle-Taylor touching down and centre Ellis Abrahams adding the conversion. The visitors added another converted try on 27 minutes, before Nagle-Taylor added a second try.

Three minutes later, full-back Tom Allott scored a converted try to give the hosts a 19-17 lead.

Old Elthamians ran in two more converted tries and added a penalty to go 34-19 ahead. Allott scored another try on 73 minutes and Nagle-Taylor completed his hat-trick, but it was not quite enough for the win.

Hull Ionians secured bragging rights in National Two with a 35-33 win over Sheffield Tigers on the opening day.

Tigers got off to a good start and led 13-7 at the break. Two penalties from Mark Ireland and a converted try from Lee Monks had given them the lead, despite Ionians being awarded a penalty try.

Ionians were quick to turn it around after the break with Isaac Green converting James Sanderson’s try on 46 minutes.

Tigers hit back with Peter Swatkins’s try but Benjamin Stephenson crashed over for Green to convert to make it 21-18 to the Hull side after 54 minutes.

James Newman’s try and Green’s conversion saw Ionians open a 10-point gap but Tigers showed fight with Henri Packard and James Broadley crossing. Ireland’s conversion and a penaltymade it 33-28 to the Tigers.

However, the home side nicked it at the death, Sam Wilson crashing over and Green kicking the conversion on 80 minutes.

Ilkley took a 35-15 win against Kendal to get off to a winning start and Huddersfield got off the mark with a 24-24 draw against Sedgley Park with Kian Stewart, Jack Maplesden and Thomas Hodson scoring.

Otley lost 24-14 at Fylde with Joe Graham and Harry Skelton scoring the consolation tries.

Hull suffered an agonising opening defeat at Rossendale, after letting the lead slip to lose 29-28 in the North Premier league.

Prop Wes Lingskilde and Ben Kay both crashed over in the first half for Hull and Simon Humberstone converted one of them as the visitors led 12-9 at the break.

Despite further tries from Mike Adlard and Tom O’Donnell, along with two penalties from Humberstone, a late try and penalty clinched the win for the home side.

There was only one try in the meeting between hosts Sandal and Harrogate, with the visitors running out 22-18 winners and scoring a bonus point. Sam Fox’s penalty gave Harrogate breathing space before they had to endure a late push from Sandal.

In North One East, Dale Breakwell’s last-gasp penalty saw West Leeds take a 36-34 victory over Consett in their first game since gaining promotion. Tom Jackson, Lewis Bromley, Mark Calderwood and debutant Benjamin Stringer scored tries.

Scarborough won 53-33 against Bradford & Bingley and York had a narrow victory at Driffield.

Malton & Norton ran in eight tries in a 56-5 at home win against Cleckheaton.

Two tries from scrum-half Connor Foley helped Middlesbrough to a 34-14 win over Heath in Yorkshire One.

Other tries for the hosts came from second-row Adam Marron, prop Kieran Clark and replacement flanker Shaun Kay, while stand-off Andy Baggett kicked three conversions and a penalty.