Leo’s took the short journey over to their local neighbours West Park to take on a 3rd XV boyd by some excellent recent results particularly there away win at Northallerton. It was clear this would be a tougher game than the home leg in November and Leo’s rolled out the experience in the Front Row with Cadgey and Grant forming the Ancient Pillars around the bulk of Lethal Latham.
The bright Spring Weather meant that some minds may well be wondering on there way to the summer and the end of Rugby Season, but Leo’s started in fine form with some strong scrimmaging backed up with a well executed backs move putting Stew Norton into space only to be tackled 10 metres out. However after a series of pick and goes Granty crashed over from an ever increasing distance as the afternoon went on. The touchline conversion was kicked and Leo’s had a 7-0 lead.
However Leo’s seemed a little flat possibly due to the intensity of the hosts work at the breakdown and deceptive line speed and became to become agitated and frustrated especially when their perceived weakness wasn’t supported by the Ref’s interpretations. From one said scrum penalty West Park opted for points and got themselves on the board, before continuing to dominate at the ruck area and creating an excellent opening try for themselves.
Half time couldn’t come soon enough for Leo’s having lost Lund and Joe C to hamstring injuries purely to re-organise and also take on some much needed fluids.
However the 2nd half started much like the first with West Park knocking Leo’s off their rhythm and making some excellent breaks themselves. This resulted in a fast end to end game that the hosts were clearly winning in the momentum battle and only some great scramble and goal line defence from Leo’s prevented this momentum being reflected on the scoreboard. This was epitomised by Ryan (West Yorks Rugby Whore) who bravely took down there prop despite the 10 stone weight disadvantage when it looked like a definite score.
Slightly against the run of play the next score came from Leo’s as after finally gaining some territory position the ball was worked into space for Stew to again get outside his man and feed Lundy to jink his way to the line. The Conversion was scored and Leo’s held a 4 point advantage with 15 minutes to go.
This lead was short lived as after a kick through to the touch line, poor kick chase allowed the home sides full back who had threatened all game to break back and good offloading support work by the back row resulted in the home team going into the corner to take a 1 point lead with 10 minutes to go.
Leo’s went back at West Park but couldn’t keep the ball long enough to mount a serious threat to West park’s line. Tom Hartley
looked to be free only to be pulled back for a slight knock on by Ryan challenging the cross field kick. Leo’s had one last chance with a ruck penalty. Kulik took it quickly and despite some close attention from the hosts pack got the ball out to Stew Norton who found half a gap and went through drawing their full back before feeding onto Ryan who sped 50 metres under the posts to get Leo’s out of jail. The successful conversion bought the game to a close and possibly and underserved win but victory all the same for Leo’s who take there winning run to the next challenge against the league leaders and the last team to beat them next week at home against West Leeds.
3 games to go and promotion is still just in our grasp!
Report by Tom Tweddle