Rugby sevens provides Saturday highlight for York

Photograph by George Lowther

Photograph by George Lowther

Rugby 7s has provided a rare highlight for York on Day 2 of Roses, securing a clean sweep of victories for the three men’s sides and the women coming from behind to earn a last gasp draw.

The men’s firsts was spoiled somewhat as a spectacle as the heavens opened, making handling a struggle for both teams. York held a slim 5-0 advantage at half time thanks to the electric Gabriel Adebiyi. The second half was a scrappy affair and hung in the balance until Matt Pollen brilliantly forced a turnover on half way and released Will Felgate to stroll in to put the game beyond doubt. Lancaster did manage a consolation score but York were good value for their 12-7 win. Felgate afterwards bemoaned the conditions which led to ‘less running rugby than we hoped for’ but was happy with the way the side capitalized on their chances.

Earlier in sunnier conditions, both the seconds and thirds had also registered points for York. The thirds had looked like blowing a 17-5 lead when two quick scores saw Lancaster level but Guy Holder-Williams raced over with the last play of the match giving York a 24-17 win. The high scoring seconds fixture was equally dramatic, hanging in the balance until two late York tries saw them emerge with a 29-17 victory.

The women’s side gained a creditable 12-12 draw, Lancaster having enjoyed the lions share of possession throughout. York defended heroically to prevent the hosts from running away with it and thanks to two superb tries from wing Emma Cooper ensured a share of the spoils. Captain Emma Hodgson who led her team superbly in defence praised her team for ‘tackling their hearts out’ and was buoyant about their chances of going one better in the XVs tomorrow.