RFU Senior Vase Quarter Final: Littleborough 3-63 West Leeds RUFC
Make no mistake this result must send out a message to every team left in this competition, writes Glenn Broadbent.
We left Bluehill Lane to head to Littleborough everyone expected a tough tie. Littleborough had won the Lancashire section with ease and in 16 league games scored 699 points conceding only 97. They were undefeated at home for two years.
When West Leeds scored within a minute of the start with a try from Calderwood, converted by D Breakwell, it still seemed that a difficult afternoon could be ahead and the feeling continued as the home side’s Park converted a penalty to make it 3-7 after 10 minutes.
Straight from the re-start Damien Pearson made a galloping run to score and Breakwell converted 3-14. Just 4 minutes later a converted Carpenter try took the lead to 3-21 and the visiting support began to believe.
On the 22nd minute it was West Leeds who were well in control of the game, taking advantage of the slope Wests forwards were dominant and their efforts lead to Breakwell finding space with a cross field kick for Calderwood to add his second and Breakwell to convert again 28-3.
Another 14 minutes elapsed before the visitors added three tries in five minutes. The first a scrum penalty with Wests pushing the boro pack for Pearson to score and Breakwell to add the two points. The second saw Captain Neave make an excellent break to set up Marshall for his try and yet another conversion. The half was rounded off with a converted try for Keir Breakwell. HT 3-49.
Littleborough started the 2nd half brightly but their one dimensional play and over physical approach caused no real problems for a confident West Leeds. On the 48th minute Wests turned over possession in their own half and Sam Neave ran up hill to score his 2nd of the afternoon and B reakwell did his usual. 3-56
Boro were now resorting to damage limitation, finding themselves in uncharted territory they began to let themselves down with spoiling tactics and niggling play. On 63 minutes Pearson having endured an afternoon of provocation became involved in a minor scuffle with his opponent and the referee wish to stamp his authority on the game sent both from the field with red cards.
Just one minute later a home clearance was collected by replacement Jackson and added to his tally with another converted try.
Littleborough were well and truly beaten but continued to try and attack but Wests were determined not to concede a try and succeeded in that.
The final score an impressive 3-63 victory and West Leeds are now just 80 minutes from a Twickenham final, the semi-final opponents to be announced in two weeks’ time.