West Leeds RUFC 35-26 Charlton Park, RFU Intermediate Cup, Twickenham 6th May 2017
Newly-promoted West Leeds RUFC added to their trophy cabinet with this history-making victory at HQ in front of the West Leeds masses, writes Glenn Broadbent.
West Leeds took control from the start with the opponents showing nerves, something Wests did have to worry about having been visitors to the stadium in the past two seasons.
The first score came after five mins when scrum-half Joe Bedford fed captain Sam Neave, who who sent Calderwood over, Breakwell converted. 7-0.
Park’s huge forwards attempted to reply but it was Leeds who added to the score-line with an interception try. 14-0 It looked like they were ready to run away with the game but it wasn’t to be.
Charlton Park played to their strength controlling scrums and using forward pressure to hit back with the pack taking the play five metres from the line with the ball then picked and popped over the line. 14-7
And it was Park who then scored to equalize on 32 minutes.
All square at the break
The play was ferocious and skilled and with some desperation Calderwood made a deliberate knock on and was sent to the bin on 39mins HT 14-14
The second-half began with Park pressing hard but 30 year-old prop Steve Anderson’s pace saw him kicked on a loose ball in his own half and again in the opponents half and then resisted the attempted to kick again collecting for a decisive try another conversion and West’s were in front. 21-14 on 45mins.
A prompt reply from Park drew the scores level 21-21 and they now looked the likely winners. Never underestimate West Leeds’s team spirit. Despite going behind 21-26 they rallied.
Wests take advantage
With Park down to 13 men West Leeds took advantage with Marshall scoring and Breakwell adding another conversion. 28-26.
Breakwell missed a penalty but soon after Calderwood added a try and another conversion sealed the victory. 35-26.
Another great season comes to an end with a promotion and a second Twickenham final victory. All achieved through teamwork and a never-say-die attitude.