Beverley 26-25 West Leeds
It was Ladies Day at Beaver Park and West Leeds went down to what could be a costly defeat, writes Glenn Broadbent.
It all started so well with West Leeds sliding in the bottom corner with their first attack of the game in the first minute, the try converted 0-7.
The game settled after the initial bust and some frantic play from both sides came to nothing, at times scrappy but equally entertaining.
It was 27 minutes into the game before Wests added to the score. A kick through led to an awkward bounce on the undulating pitch making it difficult for the defender to collect, the visitors took advantage and added the second try and conversion of the game 0-14.
Beverley hit back four minutes later with some expansive passing moves and quickly exploited the gap in the visitors defence for a quality try 14-7.
West’s Cockin saw yellow six minutes before half-time and the Beavers were quick the make the most of the one-man advantage two minutes later with a well-worked try. The difficult conversion attempt was missed 14-12.
On the stroke of half time West Leeds sensing the need to keep the points coming took a penalty 12-17.
The second half saw Beverley applying the pressure and Leeds defending doggedly. After 15 minutes of pressure West Leeds’ Booth broke from his own 22 to race away, only to be caught just short of the line. Beverley secured possession but a poor clearance resulted in a penalty and Breakwell landed a long range effort on fifty-seven minutes 12-20.
West Leeds forced their way back into the game with some compact forward work securing yards and errors from the home side. Sixty-three minutes gone and the visitors stretched the lead with a James try however the conversion was missed 12-25.
Talk was now of a bonus point win, but never underestimate the strength of Beverley, they pressed and pressed and were rewarded with a try under the posts and the predictable conversion 19-25.
It was ferocious end to end stuff now and with the suitably lubricated ladies becoming the 16th (man)? with loud cries of “come on the Beavers” from the balcony they drove on the home side and in the last minute of normal time Beverley scored in the bottom corner and difficult conversion found its way through the posts 26-25.
West did their best in added time but it was too late. FT 26-25.
Beverley deserved the win they were the best side on the day, but it is still a cruel way to lose. West Leeds take the consolation of a losing bonus point, which keeps them one point ahead of play off rivals York.
2nd XV v Bradford Salem
In an astonishing turn of events Salem withdrew from the semi-final of the merit table play offs, paving the way for a West Leeds v Morley final at Blue Hill Lane on April 22nd.