Words: Andy and Devon Johnson
The Buffaloes returned home for their first game since 2019 and had two teams on show.
The newly formed A team was led on the field by Bramley favourite Craig Boot with many of Craig’s successful junior side wearing the amber and black for the first time. This was followed by the Bramley YML division 1 side with many familiar faces from the past.
Buffaloes A v Birstall Victoria
The first match up featured a very young Buffaloes team who were up against a far more experienced side in Birstall Victoria side, with a fair number of players from Morley RU.
Unlike most, pre-match banter everyone was talking not about the teams but about meeting the strict Government protocols required to get the matches under way.
The game started with Bramley’s kick off and both sides, somewhat ring-rusty from their enforced break, traded several lost balls. With 5mins gone the Buffaloes spilled the ball close to their try line which was eagerly snatched up by the visitors who went over for their first converted try: Buffaloes 0:6 Birstall.
The young Buffaloes side looked a little nervous, but ably led by Craig with some spirited tackling and strong runs by prop Courage they levelled the score with ‘Mr Boot’ himself rolling back the years as he strode over near the posts for a converted try on 15 mins. Buffaloes level 6:6.
This spurred on the Birstall side who carved out two unconverted tries of their own whilst the Buffaloes were reduced to 12 men as Connor McGill (playing for the A team) showed a little too much aggression and was sent to the sin bin.
Although the Buffaloes went in 6:14 down at half time this was a good first half performance.
In the second half the Birstall side looked to use their kicking experience and gained territory straight from the kick off when the ball went dead. This lead to Birstall scoring a converted try in the 41st min. Buffaloes 6:20.
The following 39 minutes saw the youthful Buffaloes side gain in confidence with some excellent forceful tackling and the Birstall side were restricted to just two more tries.
Final score Buffaloes 6 – Birstall 30.
Although a young Buffaloes side tasted defeat in their first game they showed great promise and ability and the coaches agreed it was a great effort with much more to come during the 2021 season.
Buffaloes A 1) Liam Lether 2) Cameron McGill 3) Billy Butterworth 4) Danny Mitchell 5) Henry Sedgewick 6) Kasper Mroz 7) Sam Worley 8) Connor McGill 9) Tom Jenkins 10) Courage Mituhant 11) Jacob Oldroyd 12) Joe Sykes 13) Tom Barraclough 14) Craig Boot 15) Keiran McFarlane 16) Ryan Sowes 17) Joe Oldroyd 18) Connor Grieves 19) Connor Booth 20) Ben Adams.
Bramley Buffaloes v New Earswick All Blacks
Once every surface had been scrubbed clean and the players had their temperatures taken (including head coach Steve Langton) the main event kicked off.
The Buffaloes looked very keen in their first game back scoring an early try after strong run down the right by Kieran Hudson which ended with the ball coming into the hands of Aiden Baranyi, to dot down: 4 mins Buffaloes 4 – 0 New Earswick.
On 7 mins the score was level when their rangy second rower Will Homes showed good footwork to cut inside to score a converted try: Buffaloes 4 – New Earswick 6.
The Buffaloes hit the front again when a returning Tom White scored after bursting through the cover tacklers from 30 metres out: 10 mins Buffaloes 8 – New Earswick 6.
On 14 mins Will Homes went over for his and the visitors’ second try when he sidestepped the Buffaloes defence to score a converted try: 14 Mins Buffaloes 8 – New Earswick 12.
The Buffaloes made some positional changes, partly tactical and partly due to injuries before Kieran Hudson, showing great strength and determination, stormed over for his first try of the day: 21 mins Buffaloes 12 – New Earswick 12.
Despite some further strong running there were no further scores in the first half, although the Buffaloes had what look like a good try ruled out on 40 mins for reasons known only to the referee. Half-time score: Buffaloes 12 – New Earswick 12.
The second half was completely dominated by the Buffaloes, with some strong tackling and running. New Earswick tired and a fit Bramley side turned screw with points coming at regular intervals.
Winger Pedro finished a fine cross field move to score a converted try on 50 mins: Buffaloes 18 – 12. This was followed by an amazing break of 40-plus metres by Aiden Baryani, who left several attempted tacklers in his wake before a second try for Kieran Hudson that was converted.
In the lead up to the try Kieran was riled by the visitors who attempted to steal the ball in a triple tackle: 60 mins Buffaloes 24-12. The final try was scored following some good inter-passing by Xavier Martin who cut inside from a well weighted pass to score a converted try in the 70 min.
Final score Buffaloes 30 – New Earswick 12.
A telling comment was made after the game by today’s referee (well known in these parts) that Bramley showed a marked improvement by giving away far fewer penalties than the previous game when he took charge – let’s keep it up lads!
Bramley Buffaloes 1) Aiden Baranyi, 2) Peter Mitchell, 3) Tom White, 4) Kieran Hudson 5) Kieran Foster-Matthews, 6) Martin Loverage 7) Brad Wilson, 8) Curtis Sidebottom, 9) Lochlan McGill, 10) Lovie Morrisson, 11) Thomas Langton, 12) Daniel Baranyi, 13) Cameron McLacthlan, 14) Callam Staithson, 16) Xavier Martin, 17) Gavin Jarvis 18) George Waterson 19) Rob Gaunt 20) Charlie McMurray
Tries : Aiden Baranyi 4mins, Tom White 10 mins, Kieran Hudson 21 mins, Peter Mitchell 50 mins, Kieran Hudson 60 mins, Xavier Martin 70 mins
Goals Martin Loverage 50, 60 & 70
New Earswick All Blacks
1) Will Ireland 2) Dean Smith 3) Devon Smith 4) Jordan Rice 5) Josh Prenty 6) Matt Canon 7) Liam Gargan 8) Luke Prenty 9) Conor Calam 10) Stephen Clarke 11) Will Homes 12) Connor Iddon 13) Sean Malarkey 14) Harvey Baynes 15) Angus barrick 16) mark hayes 17) Rennie Hodgson
Tries : Will Homes 7 mins & 14 mins
Goals : Liam Gargan 7mins & 14 Mins