West Leeds 31-28 Keighley
West Leeds somehow managed to take a bonus point win from this encounter with Keighley, writes Glenn Broadbent. The Rugby Chair said in his pre-match notes “Whilst some may have an eye on next weekend’s Intermediate Cup Semi Final the coaches and players have only eyes for this afternoon’s encounter…”) sic.
While not wishing to take anything away from Keighley, who have coped well in Yorkshire Division One following promotion from YD2 behind champions West Leeds last season, this was a poor performance from the home side.
Wests took the lead on four minutes following a lucky bounce and some smart passing 7-0.
Keighley hit back with a penalty due to ill-discipline and downright stupidity from the home side. 7-3.
Keighley took the lead after a quarter of an hour as their obstinate pressure forced West’s into careless and thoughtless play. 7-8
West’s depleted forwards (trips to Lego land and injuries) made the most of their camaraderie to create a try from difficult circumstances and an equally impressive conversion from the reliable Dale Breakwell made it 14-8.
Again and again thoughtless and unintelligent decisions cost West Leeds with another penalty for the visitors 14-11. And another one from the same source on 26 mins 14-11.
By this time the pattern was forming and a change was needed, it didn’t come 14-14. 30mins.
The failure to make a tactical change led to yet another error and an interception try followed, the conversion being one off the top shelf. 14-21.
West Leeds clawed back the deficit with a penalty 17-21 HT
It was a slow start to the second half and West Leeds moved the game their way when they had ball in hand and forwards driving. This paid off with a converted try on 56 minutes, 24-21.
Keighley were in the ascendency and piled on the determine play imposing themselves on the West Leeds defence which eventually gave way under the posts following some energetic movement. 24-28.
With the game moving towards its final moments and Wests desperate for a bonus point win they introduced a new dimension to the game and confidence built, desire took over and rapid progress was made. A break, at twist and a try, a conversion 31-28.
West Leeds pulled the rabbit out of the hat. FT
West Leeds have two games of the regular season left a semi-final of the Intermediate cup with a third Twickenham Final in a row at stake next weekend and just one more win in the league will see them in a play-off final for promotion.
Meanwhile the second XV face Morley in their own play off final at Blue Hill Lane on 22nd April for promotion.