Rossy hold out to keep streak going
NORTH PREMIER ROSSENDALE SANDAL SHELDAN KEAY 18 17 ROSSENDALE RUFC kept up their good run of form as they recorded a hard-fought win against Sandal RUFC at Marl Pits.
Rossendale appear to be making a habit of close run games but this time it was Sandal who were unable to convert a last minute try that allowed the east Lancashire club to take the points.
In a back and forth contest, Lewis Allen opened the scoring for the home side with a penalty before Ryan McKibbin got in on the act after solid pressure and two penalty line outs allowed him to take a line out catch from Reece Tomkinson and plough over for the first try, with Allen slotting the conversion to take full advantage.
Just before the break, Sandal came into contention with a try to close the half with Rossendale 10-5 ahead.
In the second period Allen added another penalty and with a drive for the line by the pack, good hands created the opportunity for Phil Mills to go over for the second to give the home side what looked like a comfortable 18-5 lead.
Sandal had other ideas and in a storming final quarter hit back with a converted try to set up a nail-biting finish. The final try in the corner almost handing the spoils to the Yorkshire outfit fortunately for the home side the attempt drifted wide.
The victory means that Rossendale have done the double over Sandal this season, having also picked up a 29-21 away win when the two teams met in the reverse fixture back in December.
Rossendalre remain in fifth place after the Northern Premier table, nine points behind Lymm with a game in hand on their rivals.
Rossendale have four games remaining and could still finish in the top four with the home game against Hull, while a match away to Lymm looks the most crucial.
Up next is an away match against Wirral this weekend. Wirral are in extremely poor form, having suffered nine defeats in a row. That’s despite winning nine of their opening 15 games of the season.
Wirral are in 10th place, and their most recent defeat saw them lose 48-15 to Kirkby Lonsdale on Saturday.
Rossendale have beaten Wirral once this season, having recorded a dominant 43-0 home win in February. ●● Phil Mills in action for Rossendale against Sandal