Strong Team Performance Away at West Park Leeds
1st XV Maintain Winning Run
As reported last week, the trip to Leed to face West Park Leeds on the back of their away win at high flying Northallerton, was going to be another major test of Goole’s credentials. Add to that the fact that several players from the squad were unavailable, what was already seen as a difficult game, suddenly looked even much so. An added pressure from the start was a wet pitch with rain forecast for the afternoon, not Goole’s favourite conditions.
Goole began the game with young Joseph Grimbleby making his full first team debut in the crucial No 10 shirt, a burden in itself but add the slippery conditions to that and the pressure looked firmly on his shoulders. Goole received the kick-off and followed the pre-match instructions by playing close pick and go rugby which saw them push slowly into the home sides half. A kick by Grimbelby taking them within 10 mtrs of the Leeds try line. Goole then stole the home sides lineout ending with Townend crashing over for the first score of the game. Giving Goole a 0-5 lead after only 5 mins.
This appeared to be an early wake up call for West Park who began to pile the pressure on Goole, with their No 10 prompting many of their plays via his accurate kicking game. For 15 mins Goole’s disciplined defence managed to handle the pressure but ultimately the constant pressure produced 2 penalty awards against them on the 20th and 23rd min. The Leeds standoff landing both for them to take the lead 6-5. The last 17 mins of the half was played mainly in the middle third of the pitch with Goole pushing forward but not creating much momentum due to nervous passing and a tendency to try to do too much. As half time approached it was fair to say that the home side would probably have been more positive about their chances in the 2nd half, particularly as they had not really got into gear, but still led 6-5 at the break.
Goole kicked off the second half with a deep kick into the home 22 and were quick to ensure that West Park were put under immediate pressure. Great disciplined line speed took away any chance of the home side breaking out of their half. On the 47th min Goole were awarded a penalty and Grimbleby was asked to kick for the corner, which ended with Goole withing 5 mtrs of the Leeds try line. Another excellent throw from MOM Green at hooker created a strong serge towards the opposition try line, 4 phases on Walker crashed over for Goole’s 2nd try and restoring the lead to Goole 6-10.From the re-start Goole again took play back to the opposition but following a number of catch and drive sorties in the home sides half they knocked on relieving the pressure. During this period Townend was withdrawn following an injury, Phil Jackson taking his place in the 2nd row. This was fortune in a way, as the experienced Jackson became involved in a number of attacks, with his strong running putting Leeds on the back foot. Chantry, Taylor and Walker also surging forward at every opportunity. The constant work rate created even more pressure on the tiring West Park defence, culminating in Jackson going over for the 3rd try on 16 mins courtesy of a sustained effort by the whole team, winger Luke Beecher converting to take Goole 11 point in front , 6-17. Further changes by Goole’s coaching team gave much deserved game time to Louis Sugden, who replaced Corry in the front row and Brandon Harman swapping places with Sam Smith on the wing. Sugden stayed on and produced some strong runs into the Leeds defence, retaining the ball on each occasion. Equally Harman used his speed whenever he had the ball and on one occasion looked a certainty to score, until bundled into touch on the try line.
It was obvious now that the home side were tired, which began to open up the field. So, no surprise, when on the 34th min Jamie Shand came on a strong run through mid-field to get on the end of a short ball from Grimbelby to score near the posts. Beecher adding the 2 points. Ryan Lamb followed shortly after when he dived in close to the posts for the bonus point score. Unfortunately, this time Beechers conversion hit the post. But Goole were now 6-29 in front with 5 mins of normal time. A bonus point victory looked home and dry. Unfortunately, according to most spectators’ watches, the referee then played 15 mins of added on time, which did see West Park gain a consolation score on the 52nd min to end the game 11-29 in Goole’s favour.
To all watching this was in their opinion, the best “Team” performance of the season so far. Players missing, the weather against them and against a good side who are difficult to beat at home. The display again showing what a strong squad DOR Greg Bone has assemble and what an attitude he has cultivated across the whole senior squad. All 3 teams train together, all understand the moves, calls and options.
So, to their last home fixture next week against Wetherby, one of only 2 sides to have beaten them this season, all be it in the cup first round. It should be an interesting game. Exciting times at the club, and lots to be happy about for anyone who cares to come and be entertained to some excellent non-stop rugby.