1st Xv v Pontefract away. 25-25
On a wet and windy afternoon at Moor Lane on a pitch stickier than the town’s famous cakes, champagne rugby was never on the cards, writes Glenn Broadbent.
West Leeds forwards dominated but an intelligent kicking game from the home side exploited the benefits of their sloping pitch (anyone remember Bostocks Cup?).
Pontefract were the first team to affect the scoreboard when Glenn Boyd, having made a kicking tee out of mud, nonchalantly slotted a penalty to make it 3-0 to the home side. Following this there was a passage of physical play from both sides. West Leeds were the next side to add points to their tally. With a pushover try from Liam Robinson, Wests made it 5-3 in their favour. Dale Breakwell missing the conversion.
Five minutes later, from a lineout, Pontefract’s backs showed great flair and executed one of their set moves. Fast hands moved the ball wide to Richard Dedicoat. He used good feet to create space and ran over his opposition to score the try. This went unconverted and Pontefract regained the lead – 8-5 to Pontefract.
Another forward dominated try from James Kirk put Wests back in front, Dale Breakwell missing the conversion.
The next try was Pontefract’s. After some fast and effective build- up play, the ball found its way to captain Craig Fawcett in the centres. The skipper looked up and noticed there was space behind the wings. He dinked a cross-field kick over the top to none other than Richard Scott, left lock. Scott gathered the ball up and bundled over the line for five points. The try was reminiscent of Ali Williams scoring for Toulon against Bordeaux in 2013. Glenn Boyd added the extras to take Pontefract into the lead at 15-10.
Pontefract had carried the ball well throughout the game. Jonny Hill was steaming at the opposition in the first half and Jonny Burrows was using his physicality from number 8. It was from one of these characteristic charges that Burrows was able to create space for Fawcett to run in to. Fawcett rolled back the years, ironically as he was turning 30 on the following day, and raced home from the halfway line to score a brilliant try – 22-10 to Pontefract.
Later in the second half, West Leeds scored two tries. The first by Dan Bird brought the score to 22-15 as it was unconverted by Dale Breakwell. Pontefract seized the initiative when they were awarded a penalty, choosing three points to extend their lead to ten points.
Louis Brown confidently added the three. West Leeds narrowed the gap between the sides with another try this time by Campbell Breakwell which was converted by Dale Breakwell who by this time had shook off the previous night’s celebrations realizing there are only one set of posts at each end of the pitch 25-22 to Pontefract as the game was drawing to a close.
At the end of injury time, as ‘tempus fugit’, West Leeds were awarded a penalty kick near to the halfway line. Dale Breakwell was back to his reliable best and defied the odds to convert the goal, earning his team 3 points, a draw and their position at the top of Yorkshire Division 2.
West Leeds welcome Roundhegians to Blue Hill Lane for a 2.25pm Kick Off.
2nd XV v Bradford Salem. 43-14
West took an early 19-0 lead and a landslide look to be in store. After a period of domination from Wests went unrewarded and half time was beckoning Salem scored two breakaway tries both converted to take make it 19-14 at the break.
Wests scored straight from the restart and continued to dominate with former Leeds Rugby Leeds star Mark Calderwood completing his hat trick of tries and former Morley RFC National League player Scott Evans putting in a magnificent kicking performance.
The seconds move above Salem into 3rd place and look forward to a difficult away game at Selby this Saturday.
West Leeds under 15s returned to winning ways with a hard fought 26-17 win over Leeds Corinthians.