Oundle RFC 23 – 31 West Leeds RUFC
West Leeds RUFC head to Twickenham on May 7 in the RFU National Cup after victory over Peterborough-based Oundle, writes Glenn Broadbent.
This game was an object lesson in how the game should be played. With everything at stake – and, for some players, the greatest day of their rugby careers awaiting – the match was played between two first-class sides without ill feeling or rancour.
In the entire 80 minutes there wasn’t one incident of foul play to report.
Both sides started brightly and the first seven minutes saw them testing each other in the middle of the paddock.
Oundle were the first to crack with West Leeds converting a penalty on seven minutes 0-3.
Just two minutes later a quickly taken penalty taken by Neave saw Kier Breakwell go under the posts and Dale Breakwell convert 0-10.
On 11 minutes it looked like Wests were going to run away with the game with another converted try. 0-17
Oundle fought back with great pressure resulting in a penalty 3-17.
Almost straight from the kick off Oundle scored a try in the bottom corner but failed to convert 8-17.
Sixteen minutes passed with both sides threatening but strong defence was the winner.
The home side missed a long-range penalty on 35 minutes, but the visitors converted their own on 37 minutes to take an eight-point lead into half time 8-20.
— Mark Penny (@MarkPenny1) April 10, 2016
West Leeds started the second half as they did the first with a converted penalty 8-23.
Oundle hit back with a simple penalty 11-23 and in tit for tat mode Wests nudge one over on fifty-seven minutes 11-26.
Oundle were not going to give up and tested West Leeds time and time again. Wests held them up over the line on four different occasions in an eight-minute onslaught.
The pressure was understandably getting to the visitors and James Dammarral saw yellow on 65 minutes. Oundle took immediate advantage and scored another try 16-26.
The home side kept up the pressure with a missed penalty on 70 minutes and on 72 minutes it was GAME ON with a converted try 23-26.
Such was the Oundle pressure the vocal presence of the 250 travelling supporters was silenced but on the seventy-eight minute you could hear the eruption in Stamford as the returning Dammarral added a vital five points 23-31.
That’s how it ended a game that would of graced HQ with the vanquished a side will have their day soon I am sure.
But it’s West Leeds who will be sorting out the hotels and coaches this morning for their return to Twickenham.