Bees 34 - 19 West Leeds
West Leeds stung away from home
Another week and another raft of unavailabilities for WL. The NHS are rumoured to be launching a public enquiry into the number of injuries with no less than 20 players unavailable again this week, including club captain Sam Neave, although this week also saw three Breakwell’s missing, proving every cloud has a silver lining.
We are hoping for some improvement on the injury front with George Carpenter having travelled to Spain for an expert opinion on his big toe and Luke Waite due to head to turkey in search of a miracle for his hairline.
Nonetheless there was a big game ahead as Wests travelled to Bradford and Bingley, with debutants Eliah Chitiyo and James Myerscough lining up at 14 and 13 respectively, Campbell Breakwell ensuring that WL abided by the club constitution (law 3.2.1/b a Breakwell must be selected in all first teams) whilst Gaz Stokes was forcibly removed from his slippers and placed into a number 9 shirt.
Eventually, we got underway and played with the wind at our backs; keen to make the most of this advantage in the first half.
With this advantage Leeds proceeded to fall two scores behind, the first Bees score coming as they capitalised on a poor kick off collection by WL, with Wests then conceding another as Bees spun the ball wing to wing, and having sucked in defenders crossed in the corner for a 12-0 lead.
Having let Bees attack for a while Wests thought ‘here that looks good shall we have a go’ and set about attacking the Bees try line. The visitors went close when Duane Smith disco spinned his way through a gap before expertly offloading to the onrushing Archie Rika-Rayne, with the rumour being that he managed to side step someone, before falling over short of the line. Eventually the pressure told as Tim Pickersgill burst through a gap to score under the posts for a converted score 12-7.
Bees kicked off and a poor exit kept the play in the West Leeds 22. Some dreadful cheating by scott coyne resulted in a yellow card on 26 minutes, as he fell over a ruck then slapped the ball like a seal begging for a fish. A bright note did follow as WL dreamboat Ben Waddington entered the field, having returned to Yorkshire from Newcastle University for the weekend, bringing his lovely tan and rippling abs with him.
Being a man down Bees knew now was the chance to capitalise and they crossed twice in the 14 minute period - yes fourteen - Scott was in the bin, as Wests were caught short in defence to take a 26-7 lead in to half time.
Half Time – 26 -7
Eventually Phil and Andy took the hint that the ref didn’t want Scott on the pitch and sent Ben Stringer on to the field to partner club legend Dan Baxter in the row. Dan showed all of his experience to expertly let the ball bounce from kick off before bundling the Bees chaser in to touch and give WL the lineout.
Unfortunately some poor handling gave the ball back to Bees and despite the best efforts of Eliah Chitiyo, who smashed the Bees winger and turned him over, WL were immediately turned back as Bees crossed for an unconverted try. 31-7.
Having been on the field for 5 minutes Ben Stringer joined the injury list, suffering an ankle injury and hobbled back off, with Jamie Cockin moving up to the row. One scrum was enough for Jamie who decided you’d have to be an idiot to play lock – enter Lewis Bromley.
Wests had a big deficit to make up and decided to keep the ball in hand a bit more and some strong running from James Myerscough and Tom Jackson in midfield was matched by continuing breaks from Duane Smith and Jamie Cockin. Eventually the pressure told as hunk (Sam) Ben Waddington crossed for a converted a try. 31-14
Another score followed in the corner (see photo above) three minutes later as the Waddler secured his position at the top of the club try scoring league (with 2), this time the conversion was missed. 31-19.
Wests finally seemed to have clicked and were keeping the ball in hand, not risking the offloads of the first half. Unfortunately further misery was to follow as captain Dec Penny left the field, shortly followed by Lewis Bromley who’s pec fell off in the row. Jamie Cockin re-entered the field, scott coyne snuck on whilst the ref wasn’t looking and hooker Tim Pickersgill moved to flanker.
The ref enquired as to who was captain and the pack turned to Gaz Stokes, the. The enforced reshuffle stifled WL however and they conceded 3 points as Bees seized on every WL mistake. 34-19
From kick off Ben Waddington tapped the ball back and Wests regained the ball and set about chasing that 4th try for a bonus point. We went close through Danny Booth, Duane Smith and Eliah Chitiyo but it was not to be as Bees managed to see out the game for a 34-19 victory.
Full Time – Bees 34 – 19 West Leeds
Man of the match was the resplendent Ben Waddington, who absolutely smashed the pint off having just completed freshers. #Pratting
Wests will be hoping the current attrition rate eases off, before Dick Smith and Martin Midgely are forced in to the halfback combination. Next week we take on Bees again, this time at home in the Yorkshire Cup.
Finally, there are some excellent pictures on the ickledot website which can be seen here.