It turned out to be a long but successful journey as Leek picked up an away win which they only just deserved against a difficult side. Both sides were guilty of not using their possession well and making far too many errors to make a good flowing game. A strong wind blew down the pitch making kicking and handling difficult for both sides.
Thankfully Leek recovered from 17-6 down to lead 17-18 as the home fly half narrowly failed to convert a penalty to win the game as the referee’s whistle blew for full time. Leek were pleased to win the game but disappointed to play with little conviction and some poor decision making
Leek had made changes in the pack with Dave Ackerley hooking and captain Jason Milner back at prop, Tom Hine and Tom Sims were second row and the back row was Matt Slinn, Neil Edge and Andy McFadden at No8. The backs were unchanged and new prop Jon hall and Ed Harrison both making their debuts as subs with Jake Green returning from injury
The game started with the wind behind them but Leek kicking out on the ful. However, within minutes Leek had scored a penalty by Sam Hunt for Dixies being offside. Leek did start to put pressure on Dixonians but could not keep the ball for long enough to force the home side to make mistakes.
Both sides gave away penalties and Sam Hunt kicked his second after 13 mins to put leek 0-6 . The rest of the half saw both sides desperate to score only for a mistake to stop their momentum. As the last kick of the half sailed over Dixonians had narrowed Leek’s lead to 3-6 and both sides could sort out how to play the second half.
Jake Green came on for the injured Adam Smith and Jon Hall going to prop for Matt Slinn with Joe Newton-Taylor going to second row and Tom Sims to back row
It turned out that Dixies were able to use the wind better and for ten minutes put Leek back in their own 22 and having to tackle to keep them out. After 5 mins the home centre crashed through under the posts for a converted try to go 10-6 and then within minutes a mistake by Leek allowed Dixies to score another converted try to lead 17-6
This score looked an huge problem for Leek to overcome but within minutes Shane Dicker tackled the Dixies centre and the ball went loose to Nick Palmer who outsprinted the defence and pass to Sam Hunt to score and convert his own try Htis swa Leek now close on 17-13 and starting to play with more fire and conviction
Within minutes George Hunt had rounded off a superb move scoring a try in the corner after an excellent Gary McDermott break. Leek were now in the lead 17-18 and against all expectations had hauled themselves back into the game with 25 minutes still to play.
For the rest of the game Leek and Dixonians attacked and counter attacked with no more scores but Leek in showing more fight and spirit. Ed Harrison came on for his debut and Leek pushed hard to increase their lead
In the last minute Dixonians had the chance to win with a long penalty which went wide. Leek players and spectators breathed a huge sigh of relief as the ref’s whistle blew for full time and Leek had hung on for a crucial 17-18 win. This win keeps them in the middle of the league and as the bottom sides all lost the gap between the top and bottom sides is growing already. Hopefully Leek can stay away from the bottom clubs for a long time.
This week the club welcomes its Vice-Presidents for a buffet lunch at 1pm with the match kicking off at 3pm against local Staffordshire rivals Burntwood. They beat Leek in the Staffs Cup this year and Leek want some revenge this week.