BAD DAY AT THE OF­FICE

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - PIC­TURE: STEVE RID­ING

York­shire Carnegie’s tough start to the 2018-19 Cham­pi­onship sea­son con­tin­ued when they slipped to a 36-17 de­feat at home to Not­ting­ham at Emer­ald Head­in­g­ley, de­spite hav­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to take con­trol of the game.

AL­READY IN an in­vid­i­ous po­si­tion, miss­ing a dozen in­jured play­ers from a small squad, York­shire Carnegie can ill-af­ford to gift op­po­nents any­thing.

How­ever, they did just that yes­ter­day when, hav­ing bat­tled hard to take a 17-14 lead early in the sec­ond pe­riod, they con­ceded two sloppy tries to al­low op­po­nents Not­ting­ham to take con­trol.

Granted Chris Stir­ling’s side had needed to make five changes to the squad that lost at Eal­ing Trail­find­ers the pre­vi­ous week and it could be a cou­ple more weeks yet be­fore any new re­cruits ar­rive. Nev­er­the­less they will see this as an op­por­tu­nity lost, es­pe­cially against a side who, like them­selves, had won just one of their open­ing three games be­fore­hand.

As well as those gifted tries to David Williams and Shane O’Leary – Seb Ce­cil scored in com­i­cal style in the first half also – there were other fault lines, not least Carnegie’s line-out.

Too of­ten it failed to func­tion, Carnegie los­ing their own throw on at least three oc­ca­sions and, more per­ti­nently, just when they needed pos­ses­sion to get a hold back in the game.

Carnegie trailed 14-10 at the break, but made a per­fect start to the sec­ond pe­riod when, just two min­utes in, they forced a turnover and swift han­dling to the right saw winger Ge­orge Watkins – their most im­pres­sive player – ar­row back in for a fine try.

Bren­dan Cope con­verted, but no sooner did they have that 17-14 ad­van­tage than they gave it away.

Just three min­utes later Not­ting­ham winger Williams found acres of space from a kick re­turn and raced 60m un­touched for a qual­ity solo ef­fort – but one Carnegie will now feel should have been pre­vented.

O’Leary missed the con­ver­sion at­tempt, but did tag on a penalty and then could not be­lieve his luck as Cope’s botched pass squirmed to the floor.

Fly-half O’Leary picked up the loose ball and, like Williams be­fore, sprinted in from 60m with no home player able to lay a fin­ger on him.

He im­proved his own ef­fort to leave Not­ting­ham 29-17 ahead ap­proach­ing the hour mark and, in all hon­esty, from thereon in they never looked trou­bled.

It was no sur­prise when, after an­other Chris El­der kick was charged down at the fin­ish, re­place­ment front-row Rory Burke rum­bled over for O’Leary to com­plete the scor­ing.

Ear­lier Carnegie opened with Cope’s 10th-minute penalty, but then hit the self-de­struct but­ton for the first time.

First full-back El­der saw his clear­ance kick from in­side his own 22 charged down, although as the ball ric­o­cheted back be­hind the goalline Dan Moor had am­ple time to defuse the sit­u­a­tion.

How­ever, the winger failed to deal with it in the slippy con­di­tions al­low­ing Ce­cil to nip in for O’Leary to con­vert.

The vis­i­tors added to the score­line after Mike My­er­scough was sin-binned for drag­ging down a maul in the 24th minute.

From the next line-out Carnegie were left out-of-sync when the ball came out of the back for cen­tre Luke Daniels to cap­i­talise, O’Leary’s kick putting them 14-3 ahead. Stir­ling’s side, in fair­ness, did steady them­selves, but missed some per­fect op­por­tu­ni­ties to ap­ply some pres­sure of their own.

They con­ceded a free-kick when Not­ting­ham faced a li­ne­out in their own 22 and then Cope missed touch with a penalty.

The for­mer Jersey fly-half en­dured a dif­fi­cult day with the boot; one of his other touch-find­ers barely made any dis­tance while, with the last play of the half, he put in an un­threat­en­ing grub­ber when his side were well-po­si­tioned to set up for a drop-goal. By that point they had nar­rowed the deficit to just four points. Not­ting­ham’s Danny Qual­ter was yel­low-carded in the 33rd minute for the same of­fence as My­er­scough.

The vis­i­tors re­pelled Carnegie ini­tially, but erred again and from the next line-out drive hooker Dy­lan Don­nel­lan crossed with Cope im­prov­ing.

Watkins then put them ahead, but that would be their fi­nal score and they head to bot­tom-placed Jersey on Fri­day in real need of a win.

York­shire Carnegie: El­der; Watkins, Forsyth, Bul­lough, Moor; Cope, Fox (Bruzulier 57); Jenk­ins (Thraves 52), Don­nel­lan (Gib­bings 69), Il­nicki (Foster 56), My­er­scough (Ward 80), Smith, Brit­ton (Frost 80), Lloyd, Temm. Un­used re­place­ment: Wol­sten­holme

Not­ting­ham Rugby: Scan­lon; Williams, Mil­lett, Peters (Lyons 74), Robin­son; O’Leary, Vee­nen­daal (McCon­nell 51); Pen­man (Sio 57), Cole (Farn­worth 68), Daniels (Burke 65), Ce­cil, Qual­ter, Cogh­lan (Buck­ley 51), Owen (Cox 80), Poul­let. Ref­eree: Dean Richards (RFU).

TOUGH DAY:York­shire Carnegie’s Dan Temm looks for sup­port against Not­ting­ham, above, while, in­set, Dy­lan Don­nel­lan runs into Not­ting­ham’s Shane Buck­ley and Luke Cole. ` PIC­TURES: STEVE RID­ING

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