Sat 18
1st XV


By Michael Whitehouse
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Leek won a very competitive match against a very good Wolves side that defied its league position and a man down to nearly take Leek's home record.

In the end though, Leek's determination and will to win just won the day and they move on to next week's game at Aston, still league leaders and with everything to play for.

With Luke Hardern suspended for 2 weeks following last week's red card, Tom Sims was back after his injury at lock. He partnered James Wilson there with the usual front row of Bobby Cheadle, Luke Granger and Jason Milner. Luke Staton was at No.8 and Andy McFadden and Neil Edge on the flanks.
Ian Harris and Gary McDermott were at half back and Liam McDermott and Nick Palmer were in the centre with Sam Hunt, James Floyd and Jack Newton Taylor making up the back 3.

The opening 15 minutes saw both sides throwing caution to the wind and attacking from all parts of the field and when Leek won a penalty for not releasing on 15 minutes, it took a piece of good fortune for James Wilson to make a break after he appeared to knock on that allowed James Floyd to score in the right hand corner with great hands by the Leek backs. Gary McDermott's touch line conversion to make it 7-0 was to prove crucial in the final analysis.
4 minutes late and Ian Harris made a superb break into the Wolves 22 where he was stopped, but the Wolves flanker was penalised for slowing the ball and yellow carded as McDermott successfully kicked the penalty to advance Leek to 10-0.

On 23 minutes, another great Leek backs break saw Nick palmer sprinting over the half way and his pass to jack Newton Taylor had the Wolves defence scrambling in their 22. Inexplicably, the Wolves centre got himself red carded for an off the ball infringement and Leek kicked for the lineout in the Wolves 22. After being held up over the line, the resulting scrum saw the ball come to Liam McDermott who jinked his way to the line and in the act of being tackled stretched over to score Leek's 2nd try.

Gary McDermott converted and at 17-0, it looked like Leek would overwhelm their visitors. However the exact opposite occurred as the Wolves pack and backs played with renewed courage and no little skill to haul themselves back into the game.
On 35 minutes, a Wolves lineout on Leek's 22 saw a good catch and drive and when the ball came out, good hands left saw the winger score a good try. The conversion was kicked and at 17-7, Wolves were looking the more capable side of scoring next.

4 minutes later and Luke Granger was yellow carded for coming in at the side of a ruck and from the resultant lineout, catch and drive, the Wolves pack drove over for their 2nd try. It was converted superbly to end the half at 17-14.
If Leek needed to regroup and figure out what to do, it proved to be not enough as they knocked on from the kick off, giving Wolves a scrum from which they moved the ball blind and in sustained drives found the space to score a great try on the left. The conversion failed but against all the odds, the visiotrs had scored 3 unanswered tries with a man down and looked set to extend their lead and win a memorable victory at 17-21. Could Leek respond.?

5 minutes later and the Moorlanders were battering the Wolves line, but were held up over the line and then from the scrum the Wolves gallant defence turned over the ball and cleared.
As Luke Granger came back on, more pressure from Leek on 58 minutes near the Wolves line was also cleared. Then as the ball came back to the Wolves 22, Jason Milner made a superb pick up and drove into the defence. A ruck later and the ball sped left where Jack Newton Taylor had the space to score. McDermott's conversion missed and at 22-21, with a full quarter to go, it was any sides' game.

The final quarter produced some great rugby at this level and credit to Wolves who didn't lie down. They cam out fighting and trying to win the game and almost did, but for some heroic defence and counter attacking by Leek. In the end, all the players deserve credit for producing a great game of rugby for the 150 spectators and although Wolves lost, they can count themselves unlucky as Leek edged them in a thriller.

In other games, Crewe inflicted a heavy defeat on Aston and Moseley's game with Stafford was postponed by the referee after travelling down from Doncaster. Bridgnorth extended their league unbeaten run to 5 games against Camp Hill and Ludlow edged Tamworth as Old salts beat Willenhall.
This Saturday sees Leek travel to Aston. Kick off is at 2.15pm.
On February 1st, the Moorlanders will travel to Newbold for the Midlands Intermediate semi final.
The coach leaves the club at 10-30 that day. Please contact John McDermott or Neil Edge to reserve your place.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 18, Jan 2014




Midlands 2 West (North)