Words: Martyn Cheney
Bramley Buffaloes travelled to Bradford to face Wyke ARLFC in the Yorkshire men’s league.
The Buffaloes were forced to make 12 changes from the team that played Sharlston the previous weekend through injuries and player unavailability.
The game was a bad-tempered, fiesty affair which was played on a small pitch and a strange interpretation of 10 metres.
The game was one of attrition, with both teams battling for dominance on the field. The referee was also trying to stamp his authority on the game, regularly blowing the pea out of his whistle.
The game started well for the visitors. They were on the attack from the off, and in the first minute, Lochlan McGill put a deft kick through the defensive line and The Buffaloes’ chasing player couldn’t re-gather the ball.
Over the next 20 minutes both teams were firing into each other, striving for the break. And on the quarter marker Connor McGill put in a cross-field kick, with Harry Walker giving chase. The Wyke player took the ball into touch, but the referee deemed that the ball had come off a Buffaloes player and ended up giving the home side a penalty for dissent.
In the 24th minute, Bobby Brown – playing his first first-team game for a couple of years – scored the game’s opening try on the back of two repeat sets, and the Buffaloes quickly spread the ball out wide. Connor McGill added the conversion from the touchline. Giving the Buffaloes the lead 0-6.
Just before halftime Wyke levelled the scores on the back of a mistake by the Buffaloes with a converted try. Shortly after the restart the referee blew for halftime, with the scores at six all.
Four minutes into the second half and Wyke had an opportunity to take the lead but lost the ball with the line open.
In the 53rd minute, Wyke did take the lead, finally breaking through the Buffaloes relentless defensive line after a long period of pressure. The conversion was added, taking the scores out to 12-6.
The Buffaloes then crossed the line inches in from the touchline, after a quick passing movement meant that an overlap was created and Kacper Mroz crossed for a try. But Connor McGill was unable to add the extra points, narrowing the gap to 12-10.
The Buffaloes had their tales up and were chasing the game for the win. But mistakes and the referee’s whistle kept them at bay.
With the game in injury time, the Buffaloes were on the attack, 10 metres from the Wyke goalline and tackles in the bag. The Wyke defenders were slowing the play the ball down to give themselves a rest. The Buffaloes player was wriggling on the floor, trying to get up. The referee gave the home team a penalty for kicking out. One of the Buffaloes disputed the decision with the referee vigorously and was dispatched to the sin-bin.
With the threat from the Buffaloes extinguished, the home side carried the ball down the field, and the referee blew his whistle for full time.
The Buffaloes are in action again this week, changing the advertised fixtures with the first team away at Fryston and the Second Team away at Garforth Tigers.
Buffaloes: 1) Peter Croft, 2) Robert Brown, 3) Codey Downey, 4) Harry Walker, 5) Kacper Mroz, 6) Connor McGill, 7) Bradley Wilson, 8) Lee Harper, 9) Lochlan McGill, 10) Thomas Langton, 11) Aidan Baranyi, 12) Jacob Oldroyd, 13) Thomas Welford, Subs (all used); 14) Callum Greaves, 15) Simon Marnick, 16) Kieran McFarlane, 17) Ben Wilkinson.
Tries: Brown (24), Mroz (60)
Goals; McGill C.