This was a must-win game for both teams with a place in the quarter-finals at stake for the winner, but the weather had different ideas, with torrential rain all day, writes Martyn Cheney.
The groundsman at Bramley Phoenix deserves credit for getting the pitch into a playable state when so many other games were called off.
The result of the remaining game still hasn’t appeared on the Yorkshire Men’s League website, but we are presuming a 24 nil win for either Wibsey or Hunslet Club Parkside.
Both teams agreed to play with 20 players, allowing both clubs to give the maximum number of players a game, and with hindsight, that was a great idea as the weather was going to mean a lot of tired bodies out there.
The pitch was boggy and reminiscent of the glory days of winter rugby, but at kick off there was no standing water, and the game got under way.
The Buffaloes were soon on the attack and in the fourth minute, second rower Daniel Barayni crashed over the line for the opening score of the afternoon from close in. Connor McGill added the conversion to give the Buffaloes the lead 6-0.
On 11th minutes the Buffaloes were over again, when Kieran Foster-Matthews crossed for an unconverted try out by the corner flag, following a sweeping passing move from one side of the pitch to the other, defying the wet weather. The score increasing to 10-0.
Stanningley were next over the try line in the 18th minute, when Spencer Taylor caught a deft chip over from one of his teammates to score unopposed under the sticks. Ryan Taylor added the conversion, narrowing the lead to 10-6.
On 26 minutes the Buffaloes scored again. Xavier Martin, making his first appearance of the year, crossed for a try with Foster-Matthews adding the conversion to extend the lead to 16-6.
Both teams headed into the sheds at half time for some respite from the rain and wind.
As the second half started, there were pockets of water beginning to stand on the pitch, and it was a lottery as to when the referee called time.
In the first minute after the break, hooker Jake Barnett nipped over for his first try of the afternoon, with Foster-Matthews adding the conversion, making the score 22-6.
Barnett was over again from close range for another try, converted by Foster-Matthews, 28-6 to the Buffaloes in the 49th minute.
On the hour the Buffaloes were under some firm pressure from the Stanningley team, with six penalties going against them, but the defence was solid and the attackers were kept at bay.
In the 68th minute,Barnett crossed for his third try of the afternoon, darting over the line again from close range. However, Foster-Matthews’ conversion just dipped under the crossbar, to make the score 32-6.
As the ball went dead, the referee blew for time, as the rain was still coming down and none of the players was recognisable due to the mud.
Both teams were exceptional in the weather conditions, and the spectators who braved the elements enjoyed a great game of rugby.
The draw for the next round of the Forty20 cup is made on Monday (18th March), and we will advertise the game as soon as we know where and who we are playing.
Buffaloes: 1) Peter Croft, 2) Brandon Batchelor, 3) Connor McGill, 4) Kieran Hudson, 5) Kieran Foster-Matthews, 6) Aidan Baranyi, 7) Bradley Wilson ©, 8) Charlie McMurray, 9) Jake Barnett, 10) Benjamin Maynard Worrincy, 11) Thomas Langton, 12) Daniel Baranyi, 13) Xavier Martin, Subs (All Used); 14) Cameron McLachlan, 15) Thomas White, 16) Craig Brown, 17) Curtis Sidebottom, 18) Thomas Barraclough, 19) Daniel Steel.
Tries: Baranyi D. (4), Foster-Matthews (11), Martin (26), Barnett (41, 49, 68)
Goals: McGill 1, Foster-Matthews 3
Stanningley: 1) Jack Hamilton, 2) Lyle Sayers Wilson, 3) Ryan Taylor, 4) Tyler Hart, 5) Joshua Mcguigan, 6) Spencer Taylor, 7) Harris Davison, 8) Alfie Green, 9) James Devine ©, 10) Nathan Dickinson, 11) Dion Henry, 12) Timothy Davies, 13) Joshua Foster, Subs (All Used); 14) Jack Clover, 15) Matthew Kirk, 16) Ben Pulleyn, 17) George Srisawang Covill, 18) Zain Ali, 19) James Booth, 20) Liam Duffy.
Man of the Match – Jake Barnett
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