Leek travelled with another strong squad with some returning players to the line up . The Leek pack remained the same as in the previous game with Long Eaton with Ollie Drew returning to the scrum half position alongside Isaac Reaney, Adam Varley, James Floyd and the wingers Jack Newton Taylor and Kini Bulitautini and Sam Hunt at full back. On the subs bench they had the returning Naz Narawa,after a 3 year injury absence, alongside Jake Bainbridge and Lewis Dunleavy .Leeks captain, Ed Cheadle
elected to kick up the slight bank in the pitch and for the first 5 minutes both sides worked very hard on their defence tackling, which was a factor throughout the game with some excellent work from both sides. On 10 mins Leek were awarded a penalty which was missed by kicker Sam Hunt.however from the 22 metre kick off Leek retained the ball and moved the ball along the back line with Reaney making a smart grubber kick to split the opposition backs for Jack Newton Taylor to collect and score in the corner. The penalty was successful,l and for the next 20 minutes both sides played some hard tackling rugby going through several phases without any score and on 29 minutes it looked like the powerful Varley was going to score after an excellent line out move for him only to be held up by the opposition,
On 35 mins flanker, Fairhurst, was replaced by Bainbridge after a leg injury which provided further additional power to the Leek pack . Leek continued to attack but were using the kick from hands too often to make the final impact count going in at half time 0-7 in front .On 50 minutes coach, Pickles, made further changes with Dunleavy replacing Bobby Cheadle in the front row and the experienced , Narawa replacing Floyd in the centre. Shortly after Leek were awarded another penalty on the 22 which Sam Hunt duly kicked to take a 0-10 lead Unfortunately from the kick off Burntwood secured the ball and were awarded a penalty for a high tackle which they duly converted to go 3-10 .
On 65 mins Hunt provided a distance line kick and from the resulting line out which worked well most of the game the ball was popped into the hands of the stampeding Hardern who passed to Milner with some great support from Drew who allowed Joe Newton Taylor to smash over the in front of the posts with the conversation successful to take a 3-17 lead. Leeks fitness and skill level was now counting and shortly after a lovely jinking move by the returning Floyd, on the wing, provided some movement along the line for the lock , Hardern, to plough through two Burntwood players and score under the posts and with another successful conversion it allowed Leek to take a further lead and importantly look for the bonus point try .
This they achieved on 75 minutes with a line out catch and drive try from 8 metres with captain , Ed Cheadle going over to take a 3-29 lead . In the last few minutes Burntwood remained competitive and finished up with a try and conversion with the game ending with Leek winning 10-29 . This had been a well disciplined and controlled game from all parts of the squad by a confident Leek team at present . Post Match captain Ed Cheadle said “ We again looked sharp in our defence with some well drilled phased play , We have competition in the squad and with some further work on intensity in our play ,we are looking good for this stage of the season “. Leek are at present third in the League table with little between the top 6 teams in terms of points at this stage of the season.
Also last Sat, Leek Colts had a good win at Stoke and are present top of the Staffs Colts table after no losses from 6 ,with Leek 2xv having another good win on the road and the 3xv losing at home .
If any senior, junior or girl is interested in playing or returning to rugby please visit our Leek RUFC website for contact details of our playing chairman, Tony Hine .Details of training times and days are on the website.
Leek 1XV will be playing at home on Saturday 26th October at Esterchem Park v top of the table rivals, Camp Hill, along with 3 XV with the 2XV are away.
All games ko at 3pm with the match day sponsors Taylormade Landscapes .
Bar and clubhouse, open from 1pm.
On this date is also the clubs beer festival, please view the club website and Facebook for further details, the club will be open for all the England rugby world cup games with food offers .
The club will be showing the England v New Zealand Semi Final game Saturday 26th October with breakfast offers .
During the beer festival weekend we will be opening at 5-30pm Friday 25th October with a quiz at 7-30pm with teams of 6 at £1pp inc a free chip butty .
Post match Saturday 26th October we will be holding an Oompah Band evening priced at £5pp, tickets from captains and behind the bar
This will commence at 7-30pm
Please support your club and events, spread the word to friends / family / residents.
Leek 1XV have drawn Matlock at home Saturday 30th November with a 2pm KO in the Quarter Final of the RFU Intermediate Cup.
Dates for diary
Club Bonfire and Fireworks Display Saturday 2nd November, gates open at 6pm
Ladies pre match meal Saturday 16th November, 2 course meal plus a glass of Prosecco £10pp- please book early via Caroline Mellor
Saturday 7th December, Past Players pre match buffet from 12-30pm with 1XV
match KO at 2-15pm
Author Mark Hardern