Lancashire earn the bragging rights in Roses encounter

Lancashire overcame a powerful Yorkshire pack to take the spoils at Fylde, winning 35-25 to take top spot in North Division One of the Bill Beaumont Cup. Replacement fly-half Chris Johnson proved to be the matchwinner with the final try of the day, having intercepted on Yorkshire\'s ten-metre line to race through for the bonus-point win. Dominic Moon set the early pace with a second-minute try, while Nick Royle added a second halfway through the first period with a move that had started on his opposite wing. Full-back Sean Taylor collected his own chip on the left wing, and moved the ball on to Chris Briers, who supported Pete Altham who was stopped just off the line. From the ruck, Ryan De La Harpe spun the ball out to Royle who did the rest. Those tries sandwiched a Chris Reakes penalty, but it was half an hour before his forwards were able to capitalise on their strength. Gavin Jones took the pass from Adam Thomas as the pack drove towards the Lancashire line. But straight from the kick-off, Lancashire capitalised on loose play, with Ally Murray scooping a pass to Andy Riley who powered throught to stretch the lead. Yorkshire\'s strength paid off as half-time approached, with Lancashire captain Louis McGowan yellow-carded as his pack failed to cope with the pressure being extered on them. Referee Wayne Falla awarded a penalty try for further indiscretions in the scrum, and with a Reakes conversion, Lancashire took a 19-17 lead into the break. Steve Collins stretched the lead by three point soon after the restart, but Tomasi Tamanis scored a try to bring the scores level at 25-25 after 53 minutes. Although Greg Wood missed the conversion, he made up with a penalty on 63 minutes to give his side the lead for the first time. But it was Chris Johnson, who came off the bench to score two penalties of his own, before converting his own match-winning try with eight minutes to play. Head coach Mark Nelson said afterwards: “Some days you just win ugly. We scored some great tries and played some good rugby, but it’s high risk. We didn’t compromise on how we wanted to play the game. Yorkshire were very straight forward, with a basic style of play, but when we lost turnover ball, they kept it for big tranches of play, and we defended stoically,” he said. “For them to only get three tries, with no bonus point was was a testament to our defence as much as anything.\" That result sees Lancashire head to Macclesfield next week to face Cheshire in what is now the group decider. Nelson looked ahead to that fixture: “It\'s a straight semi-final for us. We’ll have to be at our best at Macclesfield, because they will throw the kitchen sink at us.” Lancashire team - 15 Sean Taylor (Preston Grasshoppers) 14 Nick Royle (Vale of Lune) 13 Chris Briers (Fylde) 12 Jack Ward (Preston Grasshoppers) 11 Andrew Riley (Sedgley Park) 10 Steve Collins (Sedgley Park) 9 Ryan De La Harpe (Fylde); 1 Dan Birchall (Fylde) 2 Phil Mills (Preston Grasshoppers) 3 Pete Altham (Fylde) 4 Louis McGowan (Sedgley Park) (c) 5 Gareth Gore (Preston Grasshoppers) 6 Alastair Murray (Preston Grasshoppers) 7 Steve McGinnis (Fylde) 8 Dominic Moon (Preston Grasshoppers) Replacements - 16 Simon Griffiths (Fylde) 17 Jon Nugent (Stade Dijon) 18 Mark Rylance (Caldy) 19 Evan Stewart (Fylde) 20 Philip Baines (Preston Grasshoppers) 21 Tom Webb (Fylde) 22 Chris Johnson (Fylde) Scorers - Tries: Moon 2, Royle 20, Riley 28, Johnson 72 Conversions: Collins2 29, Johnson 73 Penalty Goals: Collins 48, Johnson 65 67

Cat: Senior