Birstall Victoria 18
A SOLID defensive effort laid the platform for success as Birstall Victoria denied Wyke in a tight National Cup preliminary round tie last Saturday.
A waterlogged pitch saw the game switched to Victoria’s White Lee ground but it did not seem to hinder Wyke who produced a determined effort to test their fellow Pennine League opponets.
The Vic, who are in Division One East, needed to be solid in defence to deny a spirited Division Two outfit and eventually they ground out a deserved win which sees them at home to Crofton Cougars in the first round on Saturday.
Wyke had plenty of possession in the opening quarter as their big side tested the Vic who stayed strong to keep them out.
Victoria slowly turned the screw and after 25 minutes made the breakthrough with the game’s first score.
Hooker Leon Crick darted over from dummy half for an opportunist try which Tom Hemmingway converted for a 6-0 lead.
Victoria’s man-of-the-match, loose forward Josh Knowles, produced some great tackling to keep Wyke at bay and they were well in touch at the end of a close half.
The game followed a similar pattern after the break before the Vic finally added a second try to double their advantage.
Jason Lee Lampton capped a fine debut by latching onto a Crick grubber kick to score a try which Hemmingway converted.
Wyke deserve a lot of credit for keeping the Vic under great pressure but for all their efforts they were unable to breach a tight defence.
The Vic had two tries disallowed after the break but rounded things off in the final minute as Hemmingway’s kick on the first tackle saw Jonny Stainburn race clear to touch down before Hemmingway added the goal.
Prop Matty Smith was second in the MoM list with Lampton third as the Vic reaped reward for solid defence with a good cup victory.