West Leeds 33-7 Pontefract
After last week’s Senior Vase match it was back to the bread and butter of the league, writes Glenn Broadbent. In fact it was the pie and mash for many of the supporters and Pontefract committee, who enjoyed a pre-match lunch in the club room.
The game at Pontefract earlier in the season saw Dale Breakwell score a disputed last minute penalty to secure a draw which may prove to be so important as we enter the latter stages of the season. West knew they would have to be at their best to secure a victory.
The game started with some ferocious tackling from both sides and they were evenly matched the early part of the game.
It was seven minutes into the game when West Leeds forwards thought they had created a pushover try only for it to be disallowed, a correct decision from a referee who had an afternoon to forget. I will say no more on the issue, I am sure will hear enough from the attendant assessor.
Dale Breakwell finally opened the scoring with a long range penalty 3-0 and five minutes later following impressive forward action added another, re-enforcing the view that Wests would need to take every opportunity to get points on the board.
Pontefract continued to put pressure on the home side with pace in the backs and hard tackling but a counter attack lead to the first try.
A clearance kick from just outside the home 22 saw Jack Marshall show impressive pace beating two Pontefract defenders to score in the corner and Breakwell converted 13-0.
Virtually straight from the kick-off West Leeds scored one of the best tries of the season, the entire team have an influence with pace, aggression and determination leading to a Sam Neave try, Breakwell missed his difficult conversion attempt.
To be fair to Dale Breakwell, his kicking was a massive part of the way his team performed this afternoon and for those who witnessed it a great improvement on his performance last Sunday. 20-0.
West Leeds were enjoying their most dominant period of play and added a try through Jamie Cockin. 25-0.
Ponterfact then ended the half attacking the Home line and only poor handling and decision making let them down.
As expected the visitors were straight out of the blocks determined to get back into the game and tremendous whole team play put immense pressure on Wests but resolute and determined defending saw West Leeds hold out in their own 22 for a full 18 minutes.
As West Leeds were just starting to find a way out a serious knee injury saw Danny Booth carried from the field.
On 59 minutes Pontefract were rewarded for their efforts with a converted try from Burrows 25-7.
Another period of well matched attritional rugby ensued before Mark Calderwood scored against the run of play, following his versatile and energetic performance last week. 33-7
Again Pontefract threw everything into the game without reward. The game ended as it had started with a Breakwell penalty. FT 33-7.
This was probably the best game this season and Pontefract contributed to it greatly, they deserved more from the game and against any other team they would have likely have won. Wests got their bonus point and with just 6 league games remaining promotion is now a real possibility.
Next week West Leeds will be away to Littleborough in the quarter final of the National Senior Vase thanks to the perverse completion rules.
Coaches will be leaving the clubhouse at around 11.15 for more details visit the club website. Kick off is 2pm.