West Park Leeds 1st XV v Yarnbury 1st XV
match report by John Rawson
After last week’s Arctic success at Goole relative summer conditions were waiting at Bramhope for the local derby against old foes West Park.The fixture added extra spice due to Calum Smithson starting at stand off for the opponents after beginning the season at Yarnbury!The Horsforth side replaced big second row James Falgate (working) with Tom Warriner and Dan Penman was back at prop.In the backs experience James White returned in the centre with versatile back Graham Maycock moving onto the left wing for Josh Bateson (unavailable).
Yarnbury had all to play for as a win could put them theoretically in second place in the league whilst Park could consolidate after a good win over Barnsley the week before.On balance a close result could be expected.
Yarnbury started up the slope to the clubhouse but were repelled down the pitch with the boot of Smithson with some towering punts.Yarnbury defended well across the park for the first 10 minutes with Park territorially on top and worked space out wide left for the pace of winger Harry Harrison evading the cover to score in the corner for an unconverted try.Referee Robbie Willison down from Edinburgh Society was penalising the Yarnbury pack around the rucks and Smithson soon increased the lead from close in. Yarnbury did not learn while pressing up the park and another punt down the left saw Harrison race in for his second try.Again unconverted.Yarnbury pack then had work to do to keep out the home side as the forward exchanges became heated towards the interval but were able to clear their lines.Certainly the quick game the compact Park team played did not give Yarnbury time to settle and centres White and Avison were contained by their opposite numbers without room to work their moves.Stand Off Danny Pound missed a penalty attempt late on to ensure Yarnbury remained pointless at the break.
West Park took a 13-0 lead into the second half but would have to defend up the slope and Yarnbury showed their intent quickly attacking down the left getting winger Graham Maycock away.He had work to do to get over the line with the cover coming across.Stand Off Danny Pound missing the conversion.Yarnbury then exerted dominant pack pressure and pounded the home line taking repeated scrums as Park forwards were penalised.Referee Willison eventually loosing patience and giving Yarnbury the penalty try worth seven points to close down the Park lead.
The game was close and both sides tried to work moves into space Park defending breaks down the flanks by wingers Maycock and Joe Pinnick and Yarnbury keeping the pressure on down the slope through the boot of fullback George Oldridge.The full, back getting on a break down the right by the Yarnbury backs finally unlocking the defence to put Yarnbury in the lead with a try out wide right and then converting his own try to give the Horsforth side a six point lead at 13-19.Park pressed for a score in the final ten minutes and Yarnbury grabbed the defeat through the jaws of adversity loosing prop Dan Penman to a high tackle but defended their line manfully .Unfortunately when Yarnbury tried to drive the ball downfield through the forwards rather than kick long they spilled possession twice and were punished for this error when a kick through down the left saw full back Mason Knowles ghost in behind the defence and claim a bouncing ball to score close in and snatch the win by one point with an easy conversion from Smithson.A result that meant it all would be done again for both sides next season unless teams fall away and Yarnbury somehow take advantage.