West Leeds 41-26 Huddersfield YMCA
Back in the late 90’s these sides were locked in some epic battles with them contesting the 1998 Junior Vase Final at Twickenham, writes GLENN BROADBENT.
YMCA made rapid progress through the leagues and the last time the two sides met in league action Huddersfield recorded an 82-5 defeat on West Leeds. This remains West’s highest ever loss.
Saturday saw them meet on equal terms in North One East, this is the highest level of rugby ever played at Bluehill Lane and the game did not disappoint.
YMCA took the lead with a penalty following a long period of advantage. 0-3. West replied with one of their own three minutes later 3-3 and on fifteen minutes it looked as like it was going to be one of those games when the boot ruled 3-6.
The penalty sequence was briefly interrupted with a good crossfield kick finding Calderwood who broke forward with the support of Booth who after the odd jink and jive fed new father K Breakwell. The conversion followed 10-6.
It was back to penalties with West Leeds adding two before the visitors chipped in with one 16-9.
On the 34th minute a piece of individual brilliance from the new daddy saw him collect a clearance and go on a dazzling run to score as good a try as you will see at any level. Converted by D Breakwell. 23-9.
Just before the break West’s Carpenter was sent to the bin for a second technical offence. Huddersfield piled on the pressure but it was fourteen man Leeds who added another penalty to take them into 26-9 half-time lead. HT 26-9
YMCA eventually broke down 14-man Wests through sheer strength, adding a converted try for 26-16.
West Leeds forwards were dealing well with the massive Huddersfield YMCA pack and crowned their performance taking the ball from a YMCA put in, some fluid movement saw West Leeds backs out think and outpace their opponents to add try number four and another conversion 33-16.
Play now entered a phase of attack and counter attack with the visitors making the most of their chances to add a further two unconverted tries for 33-26.
Wests needed to open the gap beyond seven points and did so with four minutes remaining with yet another penalty. 36-26.
As the game was drawing to a close West’s latched onto a loose ball and Booth and Marshall combined to finish to game off with a display of speed and understanding 41-26 FT.
Despite a few niggly moments this was a good advert for the game. West Leeds travel to Driffield next week to face a team who have started the season with two wins out of two.