York Acorn ‘A’ 36 (18) v Bramley Buffaloes 10 (10) 

Following an encouraging performance against West Hull ’A’ the previous week, Bramley Buffaloes travelled to play York Acorn  ‘A’ full of confidence, unfortunately a combination of a generally a poor performance by the Buffaloes and some inept referring handed York Acorn an ultimately comfortable 36-10 victory.

Despite some changes to the previous week’s team, the Bramley team looked very good on paper. Acorn were first to score on 5 minutes when a chip to the Buffaloes right wing was not challenged for and centre Callum Hannigan had the easiest job to collect the ball and score by the posts with no meaningful challenge made on him. He converted his own try. York Acorn dominated possession for the next few minutes and only some committed scrambling defence kept them at bay. Jerome Malcolm relieved the pressure on the Buffaloes with a spirited 10m break that came to nothing as the Buffaloes subsequently lost possession. Acorn hooker and their man-of-the match Lewis Lord scored on 14 minutes but only after Bramley’s Terry Brown had done wonderfully well to track back and drag down Horton just short of the line. It looked like Horton had gone into touch, however the ball rolled invitingly to Lord who scored by the posts, getting the benefit of the doubt in regard to both a knock-on and/or forward pass.  Within 2 minutes the hole the Buffaloes found themselves in suddenly got a lot deeper when after losing possession 20m from the Acorn line, loose forward, Withers raced 70m from the base of the scrum to score a try that was a testament to his stamina as much as it was for the frankly very laboured chase made by the Buffaloes defence trying to catch him.

After 20 minutes this was as poor as we have seen from the Buffaloes for a long time, this was a cause of frustration to the coaching staff and numerous supporters who had travelled as it was to the players, however it was down to the players to change things around – and they did. Driven on by the impressive Darryl Forster the Buffaloes posted their first points on 22 minutes after they had received a rash of penalties. Daz powered over from close range after forcing a repeat set of tackles close to the line. Steve Suddards converted. On the back of more desperate defence by the Buffaloes Daz Forster made a break that saw him hold off several would-be tacklers and after making excellent metres, his deft flick to the supporting Al-Rawi saw Omar dive in at the corner to reduce the score-line to 18-10. The Buffaloes finished the half on the front foot, pressing for another score.

Bramley Buffaloes started the second half as they had finished the first, pressing for another score. However, for all their possession and excellent field position they failed to register a score in the opening 10 minutes of the half. A combination of some good solid tackling, some poor execution with the ball and poor handling meant that Acorn weathered the storm and as so often happens with their first foray into the Buffaloes half Darrel North barrelled his way over from close range for a game defining try. The game became more scrappy as almost every play saw either an error with the ball or the referee blowing for a penalty of one kind or another. North grabbed his second try on 65 minutes and Hannighan kicked a penalty shortly afterwards to maintain his 6 from 6 record; 32-10 on 72 minutes. There was no way back from the Buffaloes of course at this point and Shepherd’s try on 77 minutes eased the score out to 36-10.

Ultimately, this was a most disappointing score-line for the Buffaloes. And it was more disappointing because even despite the score-line, York Acorn were not a great team, unfortunately as  a result of some poor play we made them look good. Worryingly for Bramley we lacked creative ideas in attack, composure with the ball and at times we look as though we had several players who had run out of steam.   On the positive side Daz Forster was outstanding in attack, proving a real handful with ball in hand. Anthony Mills had his best game in a Buffaloes shirt. Terry Brown again ran the ball strongly and did well in defence on several occasions when he was badly exposed. James Archibald made an encouraging debut as did Luke Jackson.

On current for it seems we play one good game followed by an indifferent performance, on that form we should go well at Skirlaugh next week, let’s hope so otherwise it could be another long afternoon!

York Acorn ‘A’ – 1) Johnny Waldron, 2) Paul Cross, 3) Karl Horton, 4) Callum Hannigan, 5) Josh Thompson, 6) Thomas Mackley, 7)Ken Shepherd, 8) Darrel North, 9) Lewis Lord, 10) Chris Rushworth, 11) Steve Waldron, 12) Mike Embleton, 13) Matthew Withers, Subs; 14) Harry Bromwich, 15) Johnny Liddel, 16) Ben Fairburn,

Tries – North (52 &65), Hannigan (5), Lord (14), Withers (16), Shepherd (77)

Goals – Hannigan (6/7)

Bramley Buffaloes – 1) Terry Brown, 2) Jerome Malcolm, 3) Aaron Blake, 4) Darrell Forster, 5) Garry Butterfield, 6) Omar AL-Rawi, 7) Steve Suddards, 8) Dave Parker, 9) Ben Pitts, 10) Anthony Mills, 11) Craig Green, 12) James Archibald, 13) Jake Doyle, Subs; 14) Graham Harrison, 15) Luke Jackson, 18) Phil Egan, 17) Andrew Hepworth

Tries – Forster (22), Al-Rawi (29)

Goals – Suddards (1/1), Doyle (0/1)

Men of the Match –

York Acorn ‘A’ – Lewis Lord

Bramley Buffaloes – Darryl Forster