West Leeds RUFC 48-20 Pontefract
West Leeds progressed to the final of the Yorkshire Shield with a comprehensive 48-20 win over Pontefract at Blue Hill Lane, writes Glenn Broadbent.
This, the third game in eight days for the National Vase winners, saw them take to the field with six of last week’s Twickenham side starting line up missing. Some of those starting were patched up and carrying knocks. To many close to the club, it was thought this could be a game too far.
When Ponte took an early lead that thought was looking like turning into reality – but West Leeds soon hit back and with a dominant pack securing ball for the pacey backs Wests started to impose themselves on the game.
The first half was tight with end to end rugby but as in the previous two meetings between these two sides Pontefract’s ill discipline and poor decision making cost them time and time again.
A half-time team briefing from the talkative Pontefract coaching team did little to change that and despite a couple of breakaway tries the visitors did little to threaten the West Leeds determination.
With 15 minutes remaining it was Pontefract who were looking the tired side and West Leeds pressed home their advantage to reach the final.
So next Sunday West Leeds will head to The Sycamores, home of Yorkshire Division 2 West Park Bramhope to take on Yorkshire Division One Champions Bradford and Bingley in their first Shield final for 13 years.
This time West Leeds are the underdogs – and the little club in the middle of a housing estate will love that label.