The Rams travelled to Bolton on Sunday to start their season against the Lancashire Wolverines but came away with a disappointing loss. First game' rust showed as Yorkshire's game was littered with mistakes and penalties but they also showed signs of excellent football.
Under a hot sun the Rams kicked off but Lancashire scored on their first drive four minutes into the game when Adam Purcell went in from 5 yards for the touchdown, the two points were added with Phil McGrath going in to make the score 8 0. After the ensuing kick off the visitors started a good drive of their own with good running by Jay Alexander and a couple of healthy passes by new signing Paul Sherratt getting them to the Red Zone at the Wolverine's 14 yard line, but unluckily the ball was fumbled and recovered by the home side. Good defence by the Rams held the Lancashire offence and forced them to punt to close the first quarter.
Yorkshire started the second period well with Alexander going on a thundering run down the middle for a 22 yard gain into Wolverine territory but it was the Lancashire defence's turn to shine by keeping the Rams back to make the punt. Lancashire followed a good punt return by steadily moving the ball towards the endzone getting to the Ram's 2 yard line but the visitors pulled some courage out of the bag and made a goal line stand keeping the Wolverine's at bay and tackling the ball carrier on fourth down for a loss to regain the pigskin. Yorkshire couldn't get the ball forward and punted but more good defence from the Rams, with new signings Chris Brogden and Daz Lassey having great games, forced another punt from the Lancashire side. Again the Ram's found the Wolverine's defence hard to get through and had to go for the punt once more but a high snap sailed over the head of Dave Pawson who had to chase the ball and finally downed it at his own 3 yard line. This was too good a chance for Lancashire to miss and Rob Tingle broke through the line for the six. McGrath once again added the two to put the score 16 0. The Wolverines continued to put pressure on Yorkshire in the final two minutes of the first half reaching the visitor's 6 yard line but once more the Ram's D' held firm, Adrian Hirst being awarded the Ram's MVP for an outstanding game.
The Ram's came out to start the second half in fine form. Tim Adams returned the kick off into Lancashire's half and good runs from Alexander and Justin Lester took the ball to the Wolverine's 2 yard line. Yorkshire made it 16 6 when Alexander ploughed through the middle but the two pointer failed with him being brought down just short of the line. The home side increased their lead mid third quarter when Purcell lofted the pass to open receiver Tamas Byrne for a 59 yard TD score, Purcell going in for the two points himself to make it 24 6. The Rams started another good drive from the kick off with the ball being returned by Paul Calvert who evaded tackles to get past the halfway line. Superb runs by Lester made headway into the Red Zone again but another mistake led to a fumbled ball for the Wolverines to take possession at their own 9 yard marker.
Yorkshire again started the new quarter firing on all cylinders, with Simon Dewdney as quarterback he started by completing a 19 yard pass to another new signing Justin Kirby and the Rams also moved the ball with more runs, including one from Dewdney when he evaded the sack and scampered 19 yards to the 12 yard point, but once again the Red Zone proved too much with him getting sacked to turn the ball over to Lancashire. The visiting defence held the home side to force another punt but Lancashire returned the favour by keeping the Ram's offence back to punt themselves. As the game went into the closing stages the Wolverines added to their tally when Wayne Glover lobbed the ball to Byrne, who received the Wolverine's MVP awarded by Yorkshire, for a ten yard score, the two pointer failed leaving the score 30 6. Yorkshire tried to score again as the whistle approached but after moving the ball well it was intercepted as time expired to finish the game.
The Ram's hope to shake off the cobwebs for their first home game of 2004 at their new home ground at Ram Stadium, Dewsbury against the Birmingham Bulls. Gates open at 12 noon with kick off at 2:30.