West Leeds 31 - 22 Percy Park
Wests start the new year with a win
New year new WL?
With the best part of a month since our last game got frozen off, rearranged, moved forward and then moved back again WL were a little rusty heading into the first game of 2019, but aware that we really needed to start picking up wins, this week playing Percy Park who we had all agreed had been our toughest opponents of the first half of the campaign.
Wests were awarded an early penalty in front of the post, as Percy Park booted the ball through the ruck, the penalty was converted by Campbell Breakwell, after he used a doggy life following his first attempt which, to be frank, was crap. 3-0.
Next up Jamie Cockin made up a lineout call, and although he seemed to know what he was doing, with it being a figment of his imagination the rest of the pack struggled to keep pace, and PP turned the lineout over and surged towards the WL line, they were held up on the initial attempt but crossed from the resulting 5m scrum. 3-5.
From kick off Percy Park cleared the ball to Jack Marshall, who ran the ball from his own 22m into the away red zone, before kicking through and narrowly losing the foot race to the covering defence. It was clear from Jack’s face however, that he had got a taste for kicking….
The next moment of note came when John Marshall plucked the ball from the feet of the resplendent Dan Baxter, who looked fantastic with his tan following a lovely holiday. John spun off the scrum and put his foot down, drawing the last defender and putting Mark Calderwood away for a try in the corner – Campbell missed the conversion and Jack Marshall kicked him in the leg in rage, a gamechanging decision, with Campbell having to leave the field of play and a kicker now required. 8-5.
Wests were getting some joy putting pressure on Percy Park in the tackle area, ripping the ball and securing turnovers regularly. From one such expert turnover by fan favourite Dan Baxter, and his mate (but not in Pocklington) George Carpenter, Wests had the ball and were back on the attack. Tom Jackson - 6th fastest man in the club, best at Fortnite and worst beard – showed his fury at not receiving a Lynx Africa gift set to break through several would be tacklers, before deploying the peoples hand off to sit down two would-be Park defenders before passing on to Alex Hughes to score in the corner. This try was converted by new kicker Jack Marshall 15-5.
This was also the time we saw Lewis Bromley return to the pitch after several months out of action with shoulder knack, the crowd seemed delighted by this, before quickly realising it wasn’t actually John Shed and normal service being resumed.
Wests again forced a knock-on from Percy Park at the ball was passed to Dom Walsh to clear, several minutes later he was hit by a fridge freezer and Wests were awarded a penalty where the ball landed and duly took the chance to add a further three points to our lead. 18-5.
Wests were back on the defence for the remainder of the half, but eventually the pigs in blanket diet gave in and Percy Park crossed in the corner for another unconverted try.
Half Time 18 – 10
Early in the second half Alex Hughes fancied running into a brick wall, taking a pop ball off Dom at 9 and running at the guard. To almost everyones surprise he popped out the otherside and broke up the field, linking up with Calders to take play deep into the Percy Park 22. Calders could have passed to several supporting players, but decided against it given that one was DTR and he always kicks it despite playing hooker.
Eventually the ball was recycled and passed out to the right hand corner for John Marshall, of Dinner Date fame, crossing in the corner and celebrating his new moustache with a try. The conversion was on the touchline, and Jack Marshall is 8th choice kicker behind Cam, Kier, Midge and Jinny to name but a few so we weren’t expecting much. Jack however made everyone proud, slotting the ball like a young Nolberto Solano to take the score to 25-10.
Percy Park now kept the ball and attacked the WL line, Wests defended well forcing knock ons and turnovers but were unable to fully relieve the pressure, perhaps because of Sam Neave taking a tap penalty in our own 22 then trying to run it wide, rather than clearing our lines.
Eventually Park’s possession and territory was starting to force mistakes. Sam Neave was sent to the bin for some cheating, and, deciding that if Sam wasn’t playing neither was he, Dan Baxter followed him one minute later and WL were down to 13.
West Leeds continued to defend impressively, but, with WL most talented, handsome and important player in the bin, next to Sam Neave, Percy Park were eventually able to fashion an opening out wide and crossed in the corner for an unconverted try. 25-15.
Another score followed shortly after, again unconverted to take the score to 25-22 with five minutes remaining and making the home faithful nervous.
From kick off WL again secured ball and went in search of a score to take us out of sight. Duane Smith ran the ball in and whilst being mid-disco spin was cruelly stopped by a no arm tackle by the Percy Park defender – Percy Park killed disco. The referee awarded a penalty and Jack Marshall again converted to change the momentum of the game with only a few minutes remaining.
Lewis Bromley rose like a salmon to claim the Park kick off and Wests again broke into the visitors 22, Percy Park committing a number of offences in trying to stop a try and the referee awarding advantage, and then the penalty to the right of the posts. Jack Marshall making no mistake with the penalty to take the score to 31-22 and secure 4 vital league points.
Full Time 31-22
Man of the match was Jack Marshall, for his gamechanging kicking, narrowly beating out his proud father, John Marshall, who was at the forefront of most WL attacks.
Other points of note include
DTR throwing the ball at the Percy Park front jumper instead of the back man as he remembered a call from 8 weeks ago.
Lewis Bromley two footing Dan Baxter, who fell over like a sack of tateys.
Sam Marshall asking his girlfriend to down his post game pint instead of him, but insisting she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do.
Barney’s return to WL, albeit just to watch for now.
Next up is Malton & Norton away.