Draw for Shaw Lane men.
On a heavy pitch, worsened by a downpour early in the first half, Barnsley stuttered to an important draw in their quest for promotion. The first half belonged to Barnsley, with a strong pack dominating the play so much so that it was in the 31st minute that Leos first attacked the Barnsley line. For twenty minutes, the Leos defence soaked up lots of pressure, with Barnsley not helping their cause with slow movement of the ball when attacking. Several half chances went begging until Scorah finished off a really good handling move with a try in the top corner of the field. Jensen’s conversion was close, but not close enough. Despite their dominance, Barnsley could not put the finishing touches to their attacks, and half time arrived with Leos still in contention.
The second half was almost a mirror image of the first, but this time it was Leos offensive, with stern defence from Barnsley. The home side began to pass the ball more confidently, but there was always either a handling error or a Barnsley tackle to hold them up. When Barnsley did have the ball it was kicked away too often to allow the home team to resume their attacks. The usually well organised Barnsley line out worked only in patches, with good hands from Wragg and Norris, but the short throw was intercepted by Leos. Wood used his considerable strength to disrupt Leos, but eventually the score came, a replica try, with the left winger sprinting over to level the scores. Again the kick at goal failed, and Barnsley realised that with 10 minutes to go, they faced potential defeat. Accordingly they went onto the offensive, led by skipper reed and hard working scrum half Francis, and went into the Leos 22. The home defence held firm, helped by some well organised spoiling that went unrecognised, and a late tackle when Scorah looked like going over. The tackle saw a yellow card, and so Barnsley pushed for the win. It was not to be as the home team defended its line, and the referee blew for no side with Barnsley five metres short of Leos line.
Leos deserved their draw at least, and yet Barnsley had survived a tough encounter on their run in on promotion. It seems that a combination of weather, pitch and a nervous performance had produced a performance below their best, but they remain in pole position for the league title with a trip to Doncaster next week offering another challenge.
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