Moortown 17 v Leos 45
Leos win local derby
Report by Peter Cooke
After the enforced break due to the weather and Easter,Leos returned to league action with a short trip to Far Moss to face Moortown.The teams had fought out a 13 all draw before Christmas,so another close contest was anticipated.In recent weeks,both Pete Goodwin and Andy Walker have moved away from the area to further their careers and we wish them well,so it was particularly pleasing to welcome back Rob Levitt and Robert Gamage,whilst Leos had pace to burn,with James Lund and Tobi Oputa on the wings.A good crowd gathered in glorious spring conditions and a firm pitch.
Leos secured an early kickable penalty,which Dave Barden contrived to miss,apparently aware that from the 22 restart,the ball would fall into his hands,for him to run unopposed for the opening try on 2 mins.!!
Moortown also earned a penalty but their attempt went wide and Leos cleared their lines.The opening was a little scrappy,with Leos having the better of field position but the home side looking dangerous on the counter attack.The first clean break came from Jordache Myerscough,who fed the powerful Tobi Oputa but the home side did well to bungle the winger into touch,just short of the line.
The Leos set piece was well on top and it seemed that a series of scrums on the home sides line must lead to a further score but Moortown were tenacious in the tackle and managed to turnover ball at the break down,to maintain a score of 0 - 5 after 20mins.Rob Levitt replaced Lenny Lane in the back row.
Indeed,it was Moortown who levelled the score,when swift handling from right to left,put their winger in at the bottom left corner on 32mins - 5 - 5 a piece.However,Leos were to take the half time advantage,when more good scrummaging work from Ed Connell, Martin McIntosh and Chris Lewis had Moortown retreating and Danny Thompson took advantage to break a tackle and score under the sticks.With Dave Barden adding the extras,the whistle went at 5 - 12.
Leos took the initiative early in the second half,when Rob Levitt picked up from the base of a scrum,linked with Joe Newcombe,who gave a perfectly timed pass to James Lund,who did well to beat his opposite number,for a well executed try.
Leos backed this up immediately,when Joe Newcombe reacted quickly at a penalty in his own half.The scrum half tapped,split the initial defence,to feed his half back partner Mark Winter,who put James Lund in for his second try and the bonus point,with Dave Barden adding the conversion.
Undoubtedly,the best try of the game came in the 56 min,when James Farad and Nick Freear stopped a Moortown attack, Chris Lewis turned the ball over,half backs Mark Winter and Joe Newcombe broke,Oputa injected additional pace,exchanging passes with James Lund, before Tobi Oputa took the return pass to surge over in the right corner - a truely mesmerising try and to cap it all, Dave Barden landed the touch line conversion,to give a scoreline of 5 - 33.
One thing is for sure,whatever the score,Moortown will never give up and as anticipated,on 62mins,they worked the blindside well from a scrum and reduced the margin to 10 - 33.In what was now becoming a very open game,Leos immediately went to the other end of the pitch,dominated a scrum,allowing space for centres Mark McDaid and Danny Thompson,to link with full back Jonny Moore,who sold an outrageous dummy,to score in the left hand corner.
Back came the home side and with a succession of offloads,they created space for one of their forwards to go over from close range.The conversion gave a score of 17 - 38 on 72mins.However,the final score went to Leos,when more good handling from Robert Gamage and Stu Baker,allowed Chris Lewis to make a break,before quick hands to the right via Mark McDaid and Jonny Moore,created the opening for Mark Winter to finish off another fine move with a seventh try. Dave Barden conversion gave a final score of 17 - 45.
An enjoyable open game,played in good spirit,with a Barbarian end of season flavour to it.There were a number of good performances,with the wingers showing impressive speed and power, Joe Newcombe enjoyed the space he was allowed but none of that could have happened,if the front five hadn't dominated the set piece.
Elsewhere,Selby put over a hundred points on Castleford,next weeks opponents Ripon,produced a strong forward performance to beat Hullensians,whilst the narrow defeat of West Park at West Leeds,allowed Leos to move above Park,into eighth place.
Next week,Leos have their final home game of the season against Ripon,k.o.3.00pm