Sat 04
1st XV


By Michael Whitehouse
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Leek stopped a 2-match losing sequence in the league on Saturday with a fine, bonus point winning result at Kidderminster. 

The win lifted Leek to 5th up 2 places with 17 points from their opening 6 games.
Matt Leadingham, Dan Sharratt and Tom Scragg were the back 3 and Nick Palmer and Gary McDermott were at centre.
Sam Hunt and Ollie Drew started at half back.
Bobby Cheadle, Ed Cheadle and Jake Bainbridge, along with Ben Barlow and Luke Hardern made up the front 5.
Joel Booth was back at No.8 with Andy Thompson and George Hunt on the flanks.
The strong bench was made up of Jack Conlon, Kini Bulli and Will Graham.

Kidderminster’s VP day started with pleasant welcomes and a buffet in their clubhouse and then a minute’s silence as the teams entered the playing area
for a former member who had passed recently.
On a great day for running rugby the match kicked off and the home side spent the first 10 minutes in Leek’s 22. This was due to a number of penalties Leek
gave away as their scrum came under pressure for the first time this season from a powerful home 8.
The Kidder pack couldn’t quite find the killer punch to score and as the ball was passed wide, Leek’s defence stood up and prevented any chance of a try.
Then Leek won a ball and ran from deep and looked dangerous as the backs handled superbly.
The game then settled into a midfield battle with neither side able to break the deadlock until the 26th minute when a clearance kick from Kidder was fielded by Tom Scragg.
He broke a couple of tackles and then Will Graham, (already on for the injured Dan Sharratt) and George Hunt combined to get Leek deep into the home side’s 22.
Another couple of rucks later and Leek’s forwards picked up the ball and Joel Booth crashed over for the opening try.
Gary McDermott converted and Leek led 0-7.

From the kick-off, Leek infringed but the Kidder penalty attempt went wide. Leek’s backs then produced some great handling and tore through the home defence and
into the Kidder 22. Sucking in the defence quickly, the ball came blind and Joel Booth’s deft left footed kick through found Nick Palmer on the overlap to touch down
near the left corner. McDermott’s conversion crept over and Leek led 0-14 on 33 minutes.
In stoppage time at the end of the half, Leek’s scrum was sent back as the Kidder pack took the ball and the powerful right winger went in for a try.
The conversion missed and the half ended at 5-14 in Leek’s favour.

On 50 minutes, Kidder won a penalty for holding on as Leek were driving out of their 22 and the attempt was good as Kidder closed to 8-14.
The next score would be crucial and 2 minutes later Leek were bearing down the right side when a chip through found the full back on his 5 metre line.
As he dived on the ball, Andy Thompson followed through and was yellow carded instantly. Fortunately, the full back got to his feet and was escorted off.
The next 20 minutes saw both sides trying to make that decisive breakthrough but Leek were beginning to edge possession and territory now and on 72 minutes,
Leek’s scrum won a good ball outside Kidder’s 22. Joel Booth picked up, engaged defenders in the 22, flicked the ball up to Sam Hunt who sprinted for the line
to score a great try. McDermott converted and at 8-21, Kidderminster now needed 2 scores to win.

5 minutes later and the first score came after good work by the forwards won a penalty and then in Leek’s 22 won a scrum on the 5 metre line.
The No.8 picked up and drove for the line, taking defenders with him for a good score. The conversion was crucial but went wide as Kidder closed to 13-21.
With the game deep in overtime, Leek again were dominating possession and won a penalty outside the 22. A kick for the corner gave the Moorlanders
a chance at a catch and drive. Duly caught, the disciplined pack drove for the line and Ed Cheadle crashed over for the 4th try.
McDermott missed the conversion and the final whistle went as Leek won the bonus point for the try and a 13-26 win.

It had been a difficult game for both sides who worked hard to put the phases together. In the end Leek’s handling and loose play was the difference between the sides
and it is hoped the good form continues next week when Leek takes on the undefeated league leaders Whitchurch at EsterChem Park.
Kick-off is at 2.15pm.

In other games, Crewe beat Ludlow, Cleobury beat Newcastle, Whitchurch beat Tamworth, Walsall beat Old Salts and Spartans won at Veseyans.
It leaves Whitchurch on top with 6 wins from 6 games followed by Crewe and then Spartans.
Leeks next game in the Intermediate Cup is away to Southwell

Finally, a huge thank you to all members and volunteers at last night’s fantastically successful Bonfire and Fireworks Event.
Volunteers worked tirelessly to make it a success and the organisational plan worked superbly. Well done to everyone.

Author John McDermott

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Match details

Match date

Sat 04, Nov 2017




Midlands 2 West (North)

League position