Sheffield Oaks finally broke their early season hoodoo with a commanding 19-8 home win against Skipton.
Oaks showed their intent from the first whistle pinning the visitors in their own 22 for the first fifteen minutes. After being held up over the line and missing a penalty kick at the posts, it was left to powerhouse winger Daniel Hickey to finish a flowing move in the corner and ease a few nerves.
With a 5-0 lead and a dominant set piece, confidence was high going into the second half. Skipton were playing their characteristic brand of rugby though, and were looking to keep the ball alive for extended periods – posing problems and making good yards when they had possession.
The second try came soon after with some elusive running from the backs Callum Schofield and Nick Wood put industrious back row Karl Ford under the posts. The extras were added this time, but a Skipton penalty brought the score back to a precarious 12-3 with twenty minutes to go. Thankfully, territory was being controlled by fly half Joe Henson mixing kicking long with releasing to the potent centre combination of Schofield and Kelvin Charles to good effect.
The match was looking for a defining moment, and it was sparked by the latest in a string of breakdown penalties earned by prop Tom Green in midfield. Cue an attacking lineout and another muscular driving maul that carried number eight Aled Vaughan 25m for brilliant forwards try. A late, well-worked Skipton score wasn’t enough to threaten a comeback, and the Oaks narrowly missed out on the bonus point as they were held up over the line twice in the final five minutes.
Oaks travel to Mosborough this weekend and the 2s entertain Mosborough 2s at Niagara, both 3pm kick offs.