The win propelled Bourneville up to 3rd place whilst Leek remained anchored in 12th.
The side was once again disrupted with unavailability from last week’s team but was also boosted by the return of Liam McDermott and Luke Granger.
Tom Laverick at full back was supported on the wings by debutant Matt Leadingham and Dan Sharratt. Liam McDermott skippered the side as Bobby Cheadle was injured and with Nick Palmer formed the centre partnership. Gary McDermott and Ollie Drew were at half back.
Adam Kelly, Ed Cheadle and Jason Milner made up the front row with returning Ed Harrison joining Phil Tomczak at lock.
Jack Conlon was back and started at No.8 with Andy Thompson and Reece Milner on the flanks.
Adam Smith, Dan Cooper and Luke Granger were on the bench.
It was a breezy day as Leek elected to kick up the bank and mainly against the wind and it took Bourneville 7 minutes to open the scoring after a lineout on the left saw the ball move to centre field. It was then switched back towards the left and an overlap exposed the Leek defence as the left wing scored a try. The conversion missed. 5-0.
Leek hit back on 12 minutes with a Gary McDermott penalty after Bourneville was penalised for not releasing in the tackle. 5-3.
A series of rucks near Leek’s line on 16 minutes which the Leek defence did well to contain led to a penalty under the posts and the hosts extended the lead to 8-3.
On 26 minutes, Leek had shown they could defend the narrow channels and then the scrum started to work as the Leek pack knocked their much bigger opponents up the slope. They won a penalty for not keeping the scrum straight and McDermott kicked for position in the Bourneville 22. Then Leek’s Achilles’ heel kicked in, losing yet another lineout in the opposition 22, something which has been happening all season with alarming regularity.
3 minutes later and Bourneville had scored their 2nd try from a lineout move on Leek’s 22, despite a great ankle tap to stop the centre, he slid in and with the conversion the score was up to 15-3 on 30 minutes.
Pressure started building on Leek from the kick off and despite a great saving tackle by young Matt Leadingham in the right corner, he was powerless to stop the flanker going over for a try on the blindside. The conversion was excellent and at 22-3, Leek was staring down a big defeat.
If nothing else, the whole team then worked hard with forwards and backs driving up the field, trying to retain possession and work an opening. Having lost possession as they reached the Bourneville 22 again, Nick Palmer made a great tackle and won Leek a scrum. This scrum shoved the home pack 15 metres and were rewarded with a penalty and opted for another scrum. This time Jack Conlon picked up and following a couple of rucks the McDermott’s combined to let Liam score under the posts. Brother Gary converted and as the half time whistle blew at 22-10, Leek had a slight foothold still in the game and down bank 2nd half.
Leek kicked off and Reece Milner did superbly to take the ball on the bounce. As he tried to keep the ball alive, Bourneville took it and after a lineout in Leek’s half on 44 minutes, the Bourneville backs moved the ball quickly, created an overlap as the full back came in, combined with the wing to score a great try without a Leek tackle being made. The conversion was good. The bonus point was secured at 29-10.
Bourneville then controlled the game as their increasingly confident back division moved the ball quickly, seemingly having an overlap every time and scoring 3 further tries on 48, 58 and 68 minutes with the middle one being converted. 46-10.
Leek had a chance to get on the scoreboard again on 73 minutes following a series of penalties on the Bourneville 5 metre line and as the pack formed a maul, Gary McDermott got hold of the ball as the maul marched over the line and he scored a consolation try. He then converted and at 46-17 the game ended with Leek, at least, on the front foot and with a positive attitude.
The back row had played well and in particular Jack Conlon’s man of the match performance is great news. Youngsters, Andy Thompson and Reece Milner also played well.
Overall though, another disappointing result which leaves the Moorlanders 3rd bottom and with a difficult few weeks ahead of them to secure any points.
They start this week with a renewal of old adversaries from Midlands 2 days, Bridgnorth. The Shropshire side are playing well and in the top half of the table, so Leek’s task is considerable.
Kick off at EsterChem Park is 2-15 pm.
Author John McDermott