Sedge step back on the right path and Blackheath on the brink
Birmingham Moseley also boosted their survival hopes while Chinnor and Newport (Salop) are now all but safe in National One and National Two West, respectively. (Photo Credit: Ruby Clark)
Birmingham Moseley gave their survival hopes a welcome shot in the arm as they beat already relegated Hull 35-17 in Yorkshire.
The away side raced into a 24-3 lead when Ethan Priest, Rob Knox and Ryan Roach all went over and the bonus point was then secured on 33 minutes by Sam Pointon.
Hull did respond either side of half-time via Laurence Cowen but two penalties from the boot of Dan Lewis wrapped up a much-needed win for Adam Baldling’s charges.
The victory leaves Moseley eight points clear of the bottom three with a game in hand while Chinnor’s surge up the National One standings continued with a third successive triumph in March.
Nick Easter’s side defeated Leeds Tykes 42-17 at Kingsey Road to move 12 points clear of danger while the Yorkshire outfit remain in trouble as a fifth straight loss leaves them 14 points from safety with a game in hand.
National Two North
Sedgley Park saw off the challenge of Hull Ionians 30-19 to bounce back from their defeat to Tynedale and stay in control of the National Two North title race.
Tries from Bob Birtwell and Andy Riley, as well as five points from the boot of Steve Collins, put Sedge 15-9 up at the break.
Lewis Minikin had pinged over three penalties for the I’s, but the hosts fell further behind after the break as Gabe Seriki dived over before Matt Riley clinched the important bonus-point score for Sedge.
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The home side did create a piece of history though, as 17-year-old Jez Oboh became their youngest-ever try scorer as the wing’s effort made it 27-14, and despite Allan Hudson dotting down, the visitors had done enough to return to winning ways at the first attempt.
Sedge’s success means they sit 12 points clear at the summit but second-placed Fylde do have a game in hand to come on April 29th against Huddersfield.
Down at the bottom, Harrogate’s hopes of remaining in National Two North are now hanging by a thread after they were beaten 21-12 by Huddersfield at Rudding Lane. The setback for Martyn Wood’s side leaves them 18 points from safety and it means they must avoid defeat at home to Tynedale on Saturday if they are to stand any chance of evading the trapdoor in Round 23.
Elsewhere, Otley’s indiscipline hindered their ambitions of a top-three finish as four yellow cards against Sheffield Tigers aided the home side as they secured a 28-17 win at Dore Moor.
National Two East
Blackheath secured their 13th win in a row with a 21-12 victory over Bury St Edmunds, and it has left them on the cusp of the National Two East title.
Andrew Denham and Jake Hennessey put the league leaders 12-0 ahead inside nine minutes before two penalties from the boot of Tom Ffitch extended the gap.
Bury did respond via Ciaran Leeson and Charlie Reed but ‘Club’ had done enough in the opening 40 to overcome one of their biggest hurdles between now and the end of the season.
The equation is simple for James Shanahan’s side; a bonus-point success away at already relegated Westcliff this coming weekend will secure them an immediate return to the third tier.
While the race for top spot is all but done and dusted, the same can’t be said for the battle at the bottom with North Walsham, Rochford Hundred and Sevenoaks still scraping for survival.
North Walsham are now one point from safety after collecting two points from their 42-40 loss to Henley Hawks. The Vikings had raced out to a 26-7 lead before eventually being pegged back by the Hawks, but a late try from Dan Smith saw them clinch their second bonus point of the afternoon.
Chris Shields’ effort one minute from time ensured Rochford Hundred claimed a point from their 41-27 defeat to Dorking while Sevenoaks concluded the weekend empty-handed after they were beaten 28-15 by the 14-men of Barnes, who had prop Rory Marsh sent off after just 24 minutes.
Elsewhere, winger Toby Evans scored three of Old Albanian’s 12 tries as they recorded an 82-31 victory over Westcliff.
National Two West
Newport (Salop) have all but guaranteed their spot in National Two West for next season after they beat injury-hit Redruth 43-24 to secure their fourth consecutive home win.
Nathanael Titchard-Jones, Danny Brough, Chris Taylor and Perez Raqio touched down for Newport in the first half at Forton Road.
The second period saw both sides exchange three tries each with Josaia Raqio and Taylor going over for the hosts while Ed Pascoe, Richard Brown and Bailey Williams scored for Redruth.
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Their latest home success leaves Newport 16 points clear of the bottom two with four games remaining.
Elsewhere in National Two West, Old Redcliffians’ Bentley Halpin scored a hat-trick while stand-in kicker Dom Sprague slotted a late penalty to help the Bristol outfit to a 28-25 win over Luctonians while for the second time this season, there was nothing to separate Hinckley and Loughborough Students as they drew 28-28 at Leicester Road.