Medics Give Baildon a Hard Pill to Swallow
Jenny Laners began and finished well, but lost focus for much of the match
It looked like Baildon were more up for it when Medics started slower than a narcoleptic overdosed with a combination of beta blockers and diazepam. There were flashes of danger, especially when their fullback Phil Gardiner was on the ball, but too often the visitors were let off the hook by Medic errors.
When Baildon began to string phases together, Medics looked lost. Playing eight phases of rugby, the visitors got their zig-zags going and Chris Peel crashed over from short range, converted Ollie Williams. (0-7)
Zack Orrell made a break and found Adam Hewitt in support. Dan Fletcher danced around the defence and looked over the whitewash, but was just short. The referee had already given a warning to Medics for killing the ball in the red zone, so when the ball was killed illegally a Medic player was shown yellow and the visitors took the points through Ollie William's boot. (0-10)
Down to 14 men the Medics sprang into life. Some great hands and superb offloads out of the tackle saw the home side under the posts. (7-10)
Baildon failed to kick the restart 10 metres and from the scrum poor tackling immediately let Medics in for a second, softer try. (14-10)
Josh Strauss dazzled with some amazing breaks, but Baildon were unable to improve the score as the half time whistle sounded (14-10 HT)
From the second half restart Baildon managed to offload directly into Medic hands. With several blockers clearing the way grid-iron style, Medics scored, much to the delight of their President, Rob Kehoe. (21-10)
Baildon managed an attack but knocked on with the try line begging.
Nathan King also had a chance following a Dan Cookson turnover.
Chris Peel then slowed down a Medic's tap penalty and the whistler had no choice but to show yellow.
Medics took advantage of the space and stretched Baildon’s defence, Phil Gardiner scoring a scorcher. (28-10)
Another followed before Peel’s return to the fray. (35-10)
Baildon rallied late on. Pick and drives again drew a penalty at the breakdown. Matty Robsinson tapped and went, linking with Tom Cluett, before Guy Price crossed. (35-15)
Luke Strauss had a run to the corner but the ball was lost over the line. Medics then ran the length of the pitch, from their own in-goal area, to score. (40-15)
This might have caused heads to go down, but the visitors did not give up.
Baildon, whose set piece had worked well, won a lineout on the 22 and set up a rolling maul that trundled all the way to the try line, Guy Price scoring his second. (40-20)
With time running out, Baildon’s only hope for anything from the match was a try bonus point. A drop kick conversion attempt went wide and Baildon fought against the clock for the crucial fourth try.
Medics infringed with time for a line out from the penalty, but Baildon once more tapped. This time they were denied.
This was by no means a bad performance. There were positives: the set piece, the way we started and finished the match. On the downside, we had a tendency to repeat errors rather than learn from them and at times our decision making lacked the more "clinical" edge shown by Medics. We also won a penalty in a promising position during the first half, which was reversed when a player swung an arm. Cut it out!
Many thanks to our travelling supporters, the match officials and our hosts. It is always a pleasure to play the Medics. As an ex Leeds Medic player (1979-84), I like to tell myself that my loyalties are divided..... but my shouting from the touch-line betrays that, whatever my past, my heart is forever Baildon.