By Paul Abraham
In a match which many saw as a championship decider, Bramley Buffaloes – with what could have been considered a weakened team – were sensational from minute one.
Westgate had no answer to a Bramley side playing with speed and power which broke through the Westgate defence at regular intervals and by half-time the match was over as a contest as the Buffaloes led by 40 points to nil. Tries came from Dan Booth (2) Martin Loveridge (2) Steve Anderson, Eliah Chitiyo and Bailey Harman. Loveridge added six goals.
Although Westgate started the second half in determined mood and scored first, Dan Booth completed his hat-trick and Loveridge kicked two goals.
Westgate came back to bring the score to 48-10 before the Buffs went up another gear to score another four tries through Bailey Harman, Lewis Johnson, Martin Loveridge and Eliah Chitiyo with Loveridge adding two goals and Kasper Mroz kicking a goal to complete the Buffaloes scoring.
Fair play to the shell-shocked Westgate side, who battled to the last minute and were rewarded with two late consolation tries. Final score 64-22 to the Buffaloes.
A brilliant all-round team performance but a special mention for Martin Loveridge, who finished the match with an impressive 32 points from three tries and ten goals. With three games left the Buffaloes are four points clear at the top on the division.
This Saturday sees the Buffaloes play their final home league match of the season when they welcome the York St Johns Barbarians to the Blue Hill Lane ground with a 2pm kick-off.
The York outfit currently sit in sixth place with five victories from ten matches and had an excellent 20-12 victory last week at Batley Boys, so will come in to the match with confidence.
Meet the players – Sam Neave – Available for sponsorship
The versatile three-quarter made his Buffaloes debut as a substitute in the 44-18 away victory at Valley Cougars in June 2011 and appeared in another three matches during that campaign.
It would be 11 years before he returned to wear the amber and black when he appeared and scored two tries in the 18-15 victory at Lindley St Joseph’s and scored again in each of the nail-biting home defeats: 28-32 against King Cross Park and 32-36 versus Brighouse Rangers during the 2022 season.
Sam started the current season with a substitute appearance in the 46-18 home victory against Goole Vikings.
His first tries of the season came when he crossed for two tries in the 68-12 romp at home to the Scarborough Pirates.
A try in the 40-4 victory at home to Keighley Albion was followed by an impressive hat-trick at Crigglestone All Blacks which was won by the brilliant Buffaloes at a canter by 56-0. Sam’s Bramley career has totalled 14 appearances and one substitute appearance which has brought him nine tries.
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