KINGSTONE PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP ONE
TWO late tries from Sean Morris proved in vain as Oxford RL went down 36-22 at home to Gateshead Thunder.
The visitors’ fifth victory of the season took them above Oxford into sixth place.
Gateshead’s success was built on a strong defence in the first half, which led to their opener.
Louis Sherrif twisted and eventually bundled over for the home side, despite pressure from the Oxford defence.
Despite this early set back, Oxford hooker Rory Sharratt touched down following three tackles within the final ten metres, Jimmy Rowland’s conversion hitting a post.
Joe Brown, who had missed an earlier chance, restored Gateshead’s lead, with Matty Barron slotting the first of three conversions.
Matty Beharell also converted three for the visitors.
Brown soon added a second try after Lee Mapals tapped the ball forward, making it 16-4 at the break.
Oxford hit back when Callum Mulkeen pounced on Tommy Connick’s chip, with the latter landing the first of three conversions.
The entertainment continued in sunny conditions, although Oxford’s Rowland and Gateshead’s Barron were sin-binned for their part in a brawl.
Thunder applied more pressure with a try under the posts from Jamie Roon-ey, but Morris responded quickly for the hosts.
Oxford’s slight hope of a bonus point, for losing by 12 or fewer, was thwarted when Paul Stamp and Sheriff bundled over for the visitors.
A second try from Morris saw them finish just two points short of the consolation.