Match Date: 22nd Feb 2014
Competition: Pennine League Division One
Result: Odsal Sedbergh 22-10 West Leeds
Prison boys go West in pursuit of promotion
Report by Jonathon Ward
Sedge battled hard for two valuable league points against a West Leeds outfit who visited the Odsal Rec unbeaten since September following ten consecutive victories.
Amazingly this was the first win over them in four years! But it came from a cracking team performance and defensive grit. The one main problem throughout the entire match was that old Sedbergh habit of giving away penalty after penalty, marching our opponents up and down the slope and making it harder for ourselves than it needs to be. This persistent indiscipline led to the visitors crossing the chalk first in the opening quarter when they barged over falling tacklers from close range.
However, this wasn’t the West Leeds of old. It seems the days are long gone of this fixture resulting in three or four red cards per side. In fact this lot were surprisingly well disciplined (bar their lad catching Olly with a punch in the second half that the ref didn’t even punish), lacking that ruthless bit of bastard we’ve come to expect from the boys from Armley. Maybe getting ringers in on day release isn’t as easy as it used to be...
It became obvious early on that Wests lacked pace and especially didn’t like moving from marker, which saw a lot of joy for Sedge’s busy no.9 Shaq Jones and stand-off Scrimmy, both of whom made numerous breaks from acting half helping gain good field position. With the ball flashing across their try line Olly flicked it to Jonny Ward who stepped inside his opposite number and flopped over the line to level the scores.
Minutes later Birkett bust the line in trademark style to turn the game Odsal’s way, although he did almost balls it up when one of their lads steamed in at the last minute before he had grounded the ball. Not a bad half, but the Leeds forwards had barely got going and were clearly saving themselves for downhill.
A stubborn second half from both defences meant there were very few breaks of clear-cut chances for Sedge to surge up the slope, but big shifts were seen from the entire pack with Teeth, Barnie, Alastair and Sellers taking it to the Wests defence set after set. The best bit of forward play came when James Sharp – despite being barred from doing so – used his step to throw his marker and exploit a pocket of space up the middle, making a good thirty yards in the process.
Try number three was a welcome relief for Sedge following a few half-breaks down the slope by the visitors and it was Kris Fawthrop who finished well in the top corner, diving low and straight to reach the chalk, with two-matches-in-one-day Flynny impressively adding the touchline extras.
The forwards finally started to turn up for Wests and it wasn’t long before their big sub prop took advantage of us not meeting them quickly enough to barrel over under the sticks and reduce the areas to six points. Things then got a hell of a lot harder for Sedge when a quick bout of handbags saw Flynny and one of their lads sin binned, and soon after Olly saw red for a raised arm. But how their lad didn’t also go for striking was a bit strange.
Despite the numerical advantage the away side couldn’t capitalise, with a series of mad dog defending on our own line forcing the error time after time. Then with only three minutes left to play Sedge broke and following a really weird massively forward looping pass from Sharpy, the ball bounced up nicely for the supporting Alastair James who made no mistake to secure the win that sees us mathematically safe from the drop - not that relegation was ever a worry.
S.Greenwood, Jared Priestley, Ward, R.Priestley, O.Priestley, Scrimshaw, Bottomley, Dove, Jones, Bland, Knowles, James, Sellers SUBS: Birkett, Sharp, K.Fawthop, Flynn
Tries: Ward, Birkett, K.Fawthrop, James
Goals: Bottomley(2), Flynn
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Updated 16:46 - 16 Feb 2018 by Jonathon Ward