Roundhegians 36 v Leos 26
Roundhegians edge end of season local derby
Report by Peter Cooke
On the opening day of the cricket season - the 1st X1 beat Hillam - Leos travelled the short distance to Roundhegians,after two successive good performances against Moortown and Ripon.Roundhegians had been beaten on the opening day of the season 42 - 23 at Crag Lane but since then,they have comfortably reestablished themselves,back in Yorks 2.Leos had no less than eight changes from the previous week but it was good to see Dave Robinson,back from injury and on the subs bench.
Leos got off to a desperately slow start,conceding two early tries,albeit one coming from a clear knock on,to go twelve points down in the first few minutes.Indeed,it wasn't until approaching the 20m mark,that Leos put a handling move together,via James Debenham, Jordache Myerscough, Stu Baker, Stu Norton and Mark Winter,covering some 60m but the scoring pass was adjudged forward.
Leos however demonstrated some patience and via forward drives of Ed Connell and Stu Baker Richie ,Howells managed to tunnell his way over the line James Henry adding the extras to reduce the margin to 12 - 7 and Dan Kirby replaced Stu Baker.
Possession was now beginning to equal up and Mark McDaid was looking particularly dangerous in the centres but it took last ditch tackles from James Farad and Richie Howells,to keep the Leos line intact.Hegians were wide with a long range penalty but with half time approaching,a speculative clearance by the home side was dropped and fell into the arms of a threequarter,to give a scoreline of 17 - 7.
The second half opened in similar fashion,with Roundhegians demonstating far more hunger for the ball and scoring two additional tries to go 29 - 7 up on 50m.Dave Robinson replaced the injured James Farad and immediately attacked the home line.Leos finally showed renewed enthusiam - another Mark McDaid outside break,support from Jordache Myerscough Dan Kirby and Stu Norton had too much pace for the covering defence.A JamesHenry touchline conversion made it 29 - 14.
Then,a truely bizarre moment.Hegians attacked,Leos defended desperately,the ball was lost forward a metre into a defender,rebounded to the attacker,who placed the ball down unopposed.With the referee standing no more than 2m away,the forwards gathered for a defensive scrum,only for the referee to award a try - there really isn't anything else to say.
For the final 20 mins,the game really opened up.From a solid scrum Dave,Barden linked with Richie Howells,who was having an excellent all round game and released James Lund,who did well to get in at the corner.Another James Henry touchline conversion and 34 - 21,with 15 mins to go.Rob Gamage returned a kick Ed,Connell broke through,Mark Winter was in support but the final pass went down.Hegians too had their chances,whilst both Dave Robinson and James Scott were held short.
In the final moments, James Henry made space,Nick Burdon made an extra man but the ball was lost forward in the tackle Stu Norton went to retrieve the ball,only for the congenial ref to award a try and a final score of 36 - 26.A somewhat strange game,of many parts but Hegians fully deserved the victory,yet strangely,with a little more patience and accuracy in the final 10 mins,Leos could have stolen victory.
A number of good individual performances,withJordache Myerscough leading the forwards and Mark McDaid in the backs but Richie Howells took my man of the match for an excellent all round performance.The season ends next week,with the rearranged game at Hullensians,before the festivities continue over the Bank Holiday weekend.