Last Saturday the Oaks trekked to Horsea for a relegation crunch match on the east coast. Spurred on by a positive performance against league leaders Wetherby the previous week, this was an emotionally charged day when neither team dared to lose.
Oaks got off to a great start with some threatening play leading to a pushover try by David Terrington after 13 minutes – Conor Riverol adding the tricky extras. Soon afterwards some ambitious play by the hosts in their own 22 was punished as Callum Schofield snatched a fingertip interception to trot home under the posts.
Despite the early lead, and buoyancy on the touchline, this was a very open game and was typical of the ebb-and-flow of both teams’ campaigns. Eventually, the Hollismen made their adventure pay with a flowing move from one touchline to the other allowing their promising 13 to dab down in the corner. More woe was to follow for the Oaks as a needless turnover in midfield was spun wide for the same 13 to run in an impressive, yet avoidable, sixty metre score.
12-14 at half time and two understandably nervous sets of supporters watched a scrappy start to the second half between the cracks in their fingers. A pattern eventually emerged and the Oaks camped in the home 22 throwing a season of frustration at the Hornsea defence. Agonisingly, apart from one heave that only the official thought was held up, some heroic defending meant that the score remained the same.
Eventually the pressure eased off only for a loose ball and a splendid break by Schofield to put Tim Barnes over for what looked a decisive score. An extremely difficult conversion into the wind was missed and put the game on a knife-edge at 19-12. Sadly disappointment was to come: a contentious penalty in midfield allowed Hornsea’s young centre to burst through some tired tackling to complete a sublime hat-trick.
The conversion was added with the last kick of the game leaving the score at 19 all and the Oaks wondering how this one slipped away. There was plenty of endeavour this week which means an intriguing run-in with both teams set to play fellow strugglers Knaresborough over the coming weeks.
Knaresborough will be travelling to Fortress Niagara this Saturday, 7th March, with kick off at the slightly later time of 3pm. We hope all supporters will be cheering on from the touchline in what should prove to be a thrilling match.