The journey began on the 5th September last year with a West Leeds RUFC victory at Keighley and the destination was reached again with the same outcome, writes Glenn Broadbent.
Via Ripon, Rishworth, Roundhay and many more West Leeds remain undefeated and now Champions of Yorkshire Division 2.
— Mark Penny (@MarkPenny1) April 24, 2016
Today was the day the title was decided and it was evident from the off that both sides were hell bent on victory even though a draw or defeat by less than seven points would still have given West Leeds the title.
Wests set off at pace but Keighley were not going to allow them the early advantage they have been used to.
Keighley’s forwards were winning the battle until the 9th minute when a Neave break saw the home side take the lead with a try from the sides leading scorer Calderwood, Breakwell converted. 7-0.
The sides were equally matched however the Keighley pack were causing West Leeds problems and in the 24th minute they gained a penalty which was converted from just inside the home half 7-3.
It was the same story after a further seven minutes of heavy Keighley pressure and awesome West Leeds defence, penalty 7-6.
As half time was approaching a game changing defence splitting pass by Dale Breakwell saw Captain Neave earn Wests a try which was converted 14-6 HT.
— Mark Penny (@MarkPenny1) April 23, 2016
The second half started with a change of tactics from Keighley who decided to try their luck with their attacking centres.
West’s defence was tested time and again but was not breached and against the run of play they were awarded a 59th minute penalty which they converted 17-6.
Keighley were back and continued to pressure with West Leeds having to live off the occasional break. On 67 minutes Keighley’s hard work was rewarded following a well worked line-out and powerful run they took the score to 17-13.
The game continued with both sides challenging and testing in fine style and West Leeds were the next on the scoreboard with another penalty 20-13 on 78 minutes.
Keighley were not going to give up and in added time scored in the bottom corner and with a draw looking certain the conversion hit the post. 20-18 FT
West Leeds celebrated and collected the trophy, Neave’s eloquence shone through in his victory speech and as results from other games came in Keighley could celebrate promotion.
A great ending for two sides who will look forward to meeting in Yorkshire Division next season.