John Mooney: Myton vs Kells + Rugby Round Up!
In a belated start to the NCL Premier Division, Myton Warriors blew an 18-0 advantage and were held to a 20-20 draw by Kells, whose next outing will be against Toronto Wolfpack in the Challenge Cup.
The visitors held the early territorial advantage with a much-changed Warriors having to defend their line heroically under constant bombardment. It was very much against the run of play and the home side's first foray into the opposition half when Kris Walker produced a lovely chip through and followed up with the help of Lee James to touch down, close enough for Ash James to convert.
Walker was again on hand a few minutes later when first to his own grubber kick, again converted by James, and when young full-back Dan Precious sold an outrageous dummy to half the Kells team and shot over it looked a good enough cushion for the Warriors, especially with James again adding the extras.
However, Kells were not done with. Brilliantly led by hooker Troy Armstrong, they got on the scoresheet just before the hooter thanks to Tony Burns with Ross Gainford converting then came out all guns blazing in the second half and cut the deficit to six with a Ryan Watson try and a Gainford convertion.
The visitors were now in the ascendancy and though it was a rather fortuitous try from Armstrong which got them level, thanks to Gainford goaling again it was they who looked the more likely winners. The Warriors steadied the ship with forwards Ash Shaw, Sam Hoggard and Ash James tackling like Trojans and they received their reward when James kicked a penalty to put them 20-18 in the lead. Another penalty was inexplicably spurned resulting in Kells grabbing the initiative and a five-tackle drive saw them get a penalty, close enough for Gainsford to level the scores. Kris Walker had enough time to see two field-goal attempts fail, one hitting a post, before the referee blew the whistle to end a pulsating encounter all-square.
West Hulls match at Thatto Heath was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and Mark Hewitt's men now face a fixture backlog as they are in the semi-finals of the Barla National Cup. All three of last season's promoted sides, Normanton Knights, Underbank Rangers and Hunslet Club Parkside won with the latter's demolition of Siddal the highlight.
In Division 1, Skirlaugh produced a fine performance before going down 22-18 at Lock Lane while in Division 2 Dockers came away from Warrington with a 33-26 victory at Crosfields. Beverley's home fixture in Division 3 against Blackbrook was postponed.