This game did not disappoint as Leek came out winners 20-14 to move them 1 place up in the league in 4 th place after 4 games of the season. Leek started with a changed team due to injuries and unavailabilitys, however the front row and locks remained the same with Joe Newton Taylor , Ed Cheadle and Bobby Cheadle starting in the front row and man of the match Ben Barlow and captain Luke Hardern at second row with the back row starting with Nathan Bull, Lee Williams and Joel Booth .
The backs this game started with Dan Needham at scrum half , Sam Hunt at Fly half and a new partnership of Floyd and Kiniviliame at centres with Drew and Graham on the wings and Jack Newton Taylor at full back. The subs bench had one of the club Colts, Billy Kidd and a debut to Adam Varley alongside veteran Adam Smith.
Leek started strongly but as last week after 4 minutes a missed tackle on the half way line led to the C and N player make an excellent weaving run to score under the posts and with the conversion kicked Leek were 0-7 down. For the next 20 minutes Leek always seemed to playing in C and N half as both sides attempted to break their defensive lines with some strong play and big tackles going in from both sides and unfortunately Leeks final execution was causing them a problem, however on 25 minutes Leek were awarded a penalty which Hunt kicked over the posts , as he did all afternoon, to go 3-7.
On 34 minutes a great Leek Score was taken straight from the training area as they won their lineout, moved the ball quickly into the hands of the marauding Hardern who passed to Graham , inside to Drew who passed into Jack Newton Taylor who ran on a short mazy run to score a great try and with the conversion well taken by Hunt Leek went into a 10-7 Lead. Leek were unable to hold this score line before the half time break as again a passage of poor tackling around Leeks 22 line led to C and N scoring another try and conversion to take a 10-14 score line at half time . It was clearly important that Leek remained focused early part of the second half and after a few minutes Leek were awarded another penalty which Hunt again converted to go 13-14.
For the next 10 minutes Leek seemed to be always close to making the next score against a big C and N team and a well drilled half back team , however Leek were unable to reduce their errors to capitalise on the pressure and moves they were making. On 55 and 60 minutes Leeks Subs , Varley and Kidd came on for their first team debuts and Smith replaced Bobby Cheadle at prop which was going to be a test for these young men against such opposition .The next score then came from Leek through some strong running from Leeks Fijian centre known as Bully who moved it to the Newton Taylor brothers for Jack to score under the posts and again Hunt kicked the conversion to take Leek into a 20-14 lead with 10 minutes left for the Leek supporters to watch with some nervousness.
Both teams attempted to go on the attack but again both teams seemed to make errors at key times with the referee having to intervene a couple of times as tensions were raised , however Leek came out winners in another battle of rugby against C and N . Both debutants certainly held their own and understand the step up with another solid performance from lock Barlow. After the match head coach Lee Pickles praised the commitment of the whole 18 players who tackled strongly as well as attempted an expanding game of rugby against a powerful C and N team .
This coming Saturday at Esterchem Park there will be 3 home games including Colts, 2nd team and Leek 1st team who are playing Ilkeston RUFC in the 2nd round of the RFU Intermediate Cup, this game will be a 2-15pm kIck off. This is the cup competition that the club reached Twickenham in 2014 it would be great to see the lads well supported
Colts are playing Pinley with a 3pm Kick off and the 2nd team v Macclesfield , with an earlier kick off please keep viewing Facebook and Website for time of KO for the 2nd team match.
This will be busy day at the club please share lifts and park and respect residents and the cone management plan.
Please USE THE CAR PARK on the entrance to Wall Lane, 400 metre walk to club house
Bar will be open with food from 12-45pm along with BT rugby shown
Author Mark Hardern