Sat 05
Burton 2nd XV
1st XV
Burton 2nd XV v Leek

Burton 2nd XV v Leek

By Michael Whitehouse
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With Leek out of the RFU cup, this non league Saturday meant that the club sought a pool match for the 1st XV and locally, Burton was available and it seemed like a good fixture to test a few players and allow some injured squad members to take a rest

Burton's 1st XV plays in Midlands West 1 (N), so 1 league higher than Leek, so again, it was going to be a measure of the depth of the Burton versus the expectation of a 1st XV off the back of a good league win last week.

Jamie Gordon, Jason Milner and Joe Taylor made up the front row with Tom Sims and Tom Hine at lock. Luke Staton was at No.8 and Andy McFadden and Luke Granger were on the flanks.
Simon Drew was at half back with Gary McDermott. Lee Williams and George Hunt were at centre and Lucas Buxton and Nick Palmer were on the wings and Sam Hunt at full back.
Leek took the bare 15 players to allow the club to field 3 sides on the day and luckily the players stayed injury free and really enjoyed themselves as they dominated the 2nd half to score an emphatic win.

The opening quarter saw both sides testing each other with Burton's forwards trying to set up mauls and Leek countering with quick rucking.
On 14 minutes, Sam Hunt gave Leek the lead when they won a penalty for holding on after the tackle and his attempt from 35 metres was good. 0-3.

Then on 21 minutes, Burton levelled when a stray forward was caught offside in the backline. 3-3.
On 30 minutes, Leek had sustained pressure near the Burton line and Jason Milner looked like he went over but turned to set up the ruck. As the ball sped out, a dropped pass allowed Burton to clear and hack downfield.
As the half closed, Burton were pressing but Leek's resolute defence kept the scores level at 3 all.

Coach Chris Mudd's half time team talk must have been a bit special because as it turned out, the Moorlanders hit Burton for 6 unanswered tries in the 2nd half and the damage started in the very first minute of the half when Gary McDermott ripped the ball from a Burton centre, kicked ahead to Burton's 5 metre line where the attempted clearance kick was fielded by Sam Hunt on the right wing. His pass to Nick Palmer and then ruck set up, allowed the ball to move along the line and Luke Granger went in from 15 metres in the left corner. Hunt's conversion missed and Leek had taken the lead at 3-8
On 49 minutes, Leek's lineout worked well and Joe Taylor picked up from the ruck to crash over in the left corner again. Sam's conversion missed again and Leek was up to 3-13.
On 61 minutes, a great run by Luke Granger inside the Burton 22 saw Andy McFadden take a pass and get to the 5 metre line. a couple of rucks later and Leek's backs were in acres of space for Lee Williams to score a nice try. Sam Hunt converted and leek extended the lead to 3-20
The 67th minute try was probably the pick of the tries as Leek broke from their 22 and great support and passing out of the tackle saw Andy McFadden's' well timed pass find the hands of Nick Palmer who went in near the left corner. Sam Hunt converted and the lead was now 3-27.
On 73 minutes, Andy McFadden was on the score sheet after taking a pass on the Burton 22. By then, the Burton defence had run out of defenders after a great maul by the Leek forwards. Sam Hunt converted again and the score rumbled to 3-34.

Burton had the chance to reduce the deficit with a 75th minute penalty, but the attempt went wide and then in the final play of the game, Joe Taylor came out of the maul and sprinted for the line. He was stopped, but the impressive Tom Sims was on hand to take the scoring pass. Sam Hunt missed the conversion and the game ended at 3-39.
All in all, this was the kind of performance Leek would have wanted and the Moorlanders now look forward to a tough league encounter next week at 2nd placed Old Saltleians. Kick off is 2.15pm.

PLEASE NOTE - Leek Rugby Club's Bonfire and Fireworks Display takes place on Friday, 11th November at the club. Gates open at 6pm. Please come and support this great event. Guaranteed to be the best fireworks display in the Moorlands.

Saturday, November 19th sees Leek entertain Shropshire rivals Shrewsbury at F Ball Park. Kick off 2.15pm.

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Match date

Sat 05, Nov 2011