By community reporter
West Leeds welcomed Pocklington to Blue Hill Lane for the first time in several years, following Pock’s relegation from Regional 2. Both sides were looking to go two from Two, and the first half saw two evenly matched teams go blow to blow in the scorching heat.
Pocklington started strong with sustained pressure in the West Leeds half earning them a penalty, which was duly converted 0-3.
West Leeds struggled to find their rhythm, with Pock’s resolute defence breaking up the threatening back line. It took a period of sustained forward pressure for West Leeds to register their first points on the board, with repeated penalties in the Pocklington 22 building pressure on the visiting team.
The dam eventually burst, following a snipe from West’s scrum half Bedford bringing the West Leeds pack just inches from the try line. Quick thinking from Jones led to a score under the sticks, following a swan dive across the unprotected breakdown. Breakwell duly converted making the score 7-3.
Both sets of players welcomed the half time whistle shortly thereafter, with the heat really sapping the energy levels of both sides, and the referee who must be commended for a fantastic performance, navigating the new tackle height laws and letting the game flow.
The second half kicked off with a charging run by Pocklington’s second row Liversidge, who carried well all game, who received the ball from kick off and carrying it up the field to the edge of the West Leeds 22.
a set move from a lineout deep in the Pocklington Half, going through the hands the backs eventually unleashed Bromley in acres of space. The Pock scramble defence managed to stop him tantalisingly close to the try line. Quick thinking from Neave saw him flop over to finish a well worked try. Breakwell clearly had brought his kicking boots, slotting the conversion from the touchline. 14-3
West Leeds continued to build pressure, following a sustained period of phase play, Marshall, who had carried well all game at 12, was able to cut inside and beat the defensive line to put O’Neill away under the sticks for a well taken try. Breakwell continued to kick well to make the score 21-3.
West Leeds scored the bonus point try, following a line out, that had worked well all day in sharp contrast to last week, just inside of the Pocklington half. Bedford sniped from the back of the line to make the Pocklington defence sit back on their heels, from the ensuing ruck the ball was shipped across the back line. Neave was able to beat his man to unlock Chityo who scored in the corner, to bring his season tally up to three. Breakwell slotted another from the opposite touch line. 28-3
The last 15 belonged to Pocklington, with West Leeds defending their line resoundingly including several successful line out defences on the West Leeds 5 meter line.
The heat and pressure eventually told with Pocklington going through the phases to score in corner following a goal line drop out. 28-10
Following the ensuing kick off, West Leeds secured a penalty on the Pocklington ten meter line, Breakwell continued his fine kicking form to slot a long-range penalty to score the last points of the game. 31-10
West Leeds can take a lot from the second half performance that showed their ability to be clinical and score. The set piece was much improved from last week, providing a real attacking platform to unleash West’s exciting back line that continues to purr.
Next week the 1st XV travel to Bradford and Bingley and will be looking to continue their fine run of form. The hosts haven’t won in 53 games but are smarting to pick up their first win, so West’s will have to travel well to avoid becoming part of Bee’s club history.
Man of the Match was Sam Shepherd who was a constant presence in defence, stifling multiple Pocklington attacks with strong tackles and threating presence around the breakdown.
West Leeds Team
1. David Sidebottom
2. Nick Jones
3. Steve Anderson
4. Lewis Bromley (C)
5. George Carpenter
6. Joe Greenwood
7. Sam Shepherd
8. Barney Carter
9. Joe Bedford
10. Keir Breakwell (VC)
11. Conor O’Neill
12. Sam Marshall
13. Eliah Chityo
14. Dan Booth
15. Sam Neave
16. Linus Gallagher
17. James Salter
18. Ben McEwan