At 3.30pm West Leeds started as massive underdogs in the Yorkshire Shield Final, writes Glenn Broadbent.
They were taking on a Bradford and Bingley side who had won Yorkshire Division 1 with a massive 121 points and 13 clear of their nearest rivals.
— Mark Penny (@MarkPenny1) 22 May 2016
By 3.42pm they were 0-5 in front having dominated the early exchanges and against all expectations the try came from a pushover, Damien Pearson claiming the score which went unconverted.
Wests continued to dominate play with B&B shocked and confused and on the 21st minute the West Leeds scrum, in the bottom left corner was in great form again winning the ball for the backs to score a hallmark try in the right corner this time there was no mistake with the conversion 0-12.
The B’s were made an astonishing double substitution in a failed attempt to shore up the scrum and within 1 minute of entering the field the number 18 was heading back to the bench having received a lenient yellow card.
— daniel firth (@dgfirth) 22 May 2016
Bradford and Bingley started to get into their stride but their interpretation of stamping their authority on the game was quite literal and, while not leaving a mark on the game, it left a few on Wests players and acted as an effective tattoo removal service.
As the half drew to a close Wests turned over possession and broke loose for Keir Breakwell to score and cousin Dale to convert 0-19 HT
Congratulations to @WestLeedsRUFC who capped an incredible season with victory in the Yorkshire Shield this afternoon
— Yorkshire Carnegie (@carnegierugby) 22 May 2016
The second half began with B&B expected to take advantage of the downhill slope but it was West Leeds who dominated the first 10 minutes.
On 53 minutes Bradford and Bingley broke away and an intervention by Keir Breakwell saw him sent to the bin and B&B took advantage with their first try of the game, an easy conversion was missed 5-19.
Just seven minutes later Robinson saw yellow taking Wests down to 13 men and again this lead to a try and another missed conversion 10-19.
West Leeds regained control and gained a penalty for not releasing and a long range effort sailed over 10-22.
Bradford and Bingley finally started to wake up and after forward pressure scored on 75 minutes, this time converting 17-22.
Wests hit back with a much-needed penalty on 78 minutes 17-25.
The clock ticked, four minutes of added time passed and at 5.03pm the referee blew his whistle.
The underdogs were Shield winners, Champions of Yorkshire Division Two and England Rugby Senior Vase winners, undefeated in 35 games this season – and no-one can doubt the greatest-ever side in the 90-year history of this proud little club.