On what turned out to be another scoring day, Bramley Buffaloes finally had a game after nearly a month for varying reasons, writes Martyn Cheney.
Bentley ARLFC were Saturday’s visitors. Sitting second in the league, they may have been expecting an easier game after the 40-10 defeat at Bentley earlier in the season. But the Buffaloes were determined to put that right and finish the season on a high.
The home team had three debutants on display for this game, Jack Wilson, recently released by the Bradford Bulls, Ben Maddison, a strong running centre, and returning star Aaron Henry, after half a season playing elsewhere.
The game started off as many games do for the Buffaloes with some poor discipline, resulting in the Referee blowing the pea out of his whistle.
In the sixth minute, following two consecutive penalties, Bentley crossed the line from one yard out on the last tackle for a converted try, giving them the lead 0-6.
Four minutes later and the away team were in again, following a cross-field move which resulted in an unconverted try. This increased the lead to 0-10.
In the 16th minute, a strange penalty, one of many in the game, around 10 metres from the line, followed by a quick tap resulted in Bentley’s third try of the afternoon. This time the try was converted, making the score 0-16.
On 23 minutes the Buffaloes opened their account. Strong running saw second rower Curtis Sidebottom break free from the defensive line and crashed over for the opening try. The conversion went wide, making the score 4-16.
Four minutes later and Bentley crossed the line again from Dummy half, diving through some defenders who were not ready for a quick play the ball. The conversion was coolly slotted over, extending the away teams lead to 4-22.
In the 32nd minute the Buffaloes were in again for their second try of the afternoon. A swift passing move put winger Rob Brown into space and he raced away down the touchline for an unconverted try. This narrowed the lead to 8-22.
On the stroke of half time, substitute Xavier Martin made a great break, passing to debutant Ben Maddison, who then fed Jake Barnett to cros. the line for a well-worked try. Another debutant, Jack Wilson, added the conversion, reducing the gap further to 14-22.
From the kick off the Buffaloes were on the attack and following a quick passing move, Maddison crossed for his first try for the club, with no conversion added the score was now 18-22.
From the kick-off the Buffaloes took the ball dead and Bentley was on the attack again, however, some scrambling defence kept them at bay.
In the 56th minute, Martin, cross the line for an unconverted try, following two successive penalties for the Buffaloes, levelling the scores at 22 all.
Six minutes later and Sidebottom was over again for his second try of the afternoon, as he broke free from the despairing defenders. and crossed for an unconverted try.
Unfortunately for Sidebottom and the Buffaloes, he was injured in the act of scoring and played no further part in the game. This gave the Buffaloes the lead for the first time 26-22.
In the 66th minute an incident occurred in the tackle, and one of the Bentley players was dispatched to the sin-bin. From the resulting penalty, Aaron Henry, slotted the ball over the black dot to extend the Buffaloes lead to 28-22.
With seven minutes to go, Bentley were attacking the Buffaloes line and late on in the tackle count, for the third time in the game, the Bentley player slipped through the defenders from dummy half, the conversion was added and we were all square at 28 all.
Both teams were now desperately looking for the chink in the others defensive line that would allow them the advantage and to break the deadlock.
The break came in the last minute of the game when, with Bentley on the attack, another bizarre penalty went their way, the player with the ball was tackled and in the tackle, his shirt came off and wrapped itself around the ball.
In the resulting struggle by both teams the Bentley player released his grip on the shirt and ball and the referee blew for a penalty for ball stealing.
Bentley decided that given there were only seconds left they would attempt the penalty goal and – from 45 metres – slotted over the goal, giving them the lead 28-30.
From the kick-off after the first tackle the referee blew for time, and the game was over, with the Buffaloes denied a well-deseved point.
The Buffaloes are in action again next week when they train to East Hull, for another tough Yorkshire Mens League clash.
Buffaloes: 1) Peter Croft, 2) Rob Brown, 3) Aaron Henry, 4) Kieran Hudson, 5) Kieran Foster Matthews, 6) Jack Wilson, 7) Brad Wilson, 18) Charlie McMurray, 9) Jake Barnett, 10) Ben Maynard Worrincy, 11) Tom Langton, 12) Dan Baranyi, 14) Aidan Baranyi, Subs (all used); 13) Xavier Martin, 16) Curtis Sidebottom, 20) Ben Maddison, 15) Harry Kilbride.
Tries: Sidebottom (23, 62), Brown (32), Barnett (39), Maddison (41), Martin (56)
Goals, Wilson x 1, Henry x 1
Bentley: 1) Alex Bates, 2) Kieran Lewis, 4) Jordan Clegg, 5) Brad Maltby, 6) Paul Ward, 7) Jack Craswell, 8) Ryan Craswell, 9) Scott Smith, 10) Jordan Middleton, 12) Zac Holgate, 13) Jake Starbuck, 18) Danny Royle, 15) Matt Swain, 17) Lyndon Staley, 19) Jamie I’Anson, 20) Jonny Woodcock, 14) Damien Leavsley
Tries: Bates, Smith, Starbuck, Woodcock x 2
Goals: Lewis x 4, Craswell x 1
Men of the Match:
Buffaloes: Ben Maddison
Bentley: Jamie I’Anson