Wests head to YMCA looking to build on last weeks big win over Cleckheaton in our bid to escape the drop. A few injuries sustained in that game have meant changes to the team, Jamie Cockin missing out with a groin strain and Timmy Jackson out with his sprain. The challenge for the hotly contested hooker spot heated up further this week with Tim Pickersgill running DTR over and knocking him off his bike to secure his starting berth – look out Rab Watt. We were however able to welcome back father and son duo John and Jack Marshall, along with Lewis Bromley and James Kirk.
Panic ensued shortly before kick off, with Wests having won the whistle guessing game and due to receive the kick off, we managed to lose George Carpenter between the changing room and the pitch. Luckily, with only seconds before kick off George emerged, and John Marshall was returned to the bench.
The kick off didn’t go 10m and WL had the first scrum of the day, Duane, Tim & Ste providing a solid base, which would continue throughout the game. The first points of the day however went to YM, notching an easy 3 points after an offside by WL. 3-0.
Only moments later it was WL who were on the scoreboard, Sam Neave executed an exact copy of the Crossfield kick that got Jack Marshall murdered in the same spot last year. This time YM recovered the ball, before Jack put in a big hit to turn the ball back over, WL broke down the left hand side and Keir Breakwell crossed the whitewash, fell over, got back up, then dotted down, before missing the conversion. 3-5.
The next score went to YM, photographic evidence suggests that Jack fancied a little nap, and they broke down his wing before passing back inside and scoring under the sticks for a converted try. 10-5.
Wests were now looking to look after the ball better and some big carries from Lewis and Duane put WL on the front foot. YM were under pressure and conceded a penalty which Keir Breakwell converted to take the score to 10-8.
The next score came as the WL pack again provided a platform for attack at scrum time, the ball was spun to Mark Calderwood, who saw his opposite number, then ran round him before remembering he’s 52 and getting caught. Luckily support was there and Jack Marshall managed to pick up the ball, duck under several tackles and scoot his way over the line for a try (taking him to joint top try scorer), this time Keir Breakwell converted. 10-15.
Just before half time and WL were pressuring again, play taken up to the home 5m and several attacks were repelled, with advantage called by the referee Sam Neave attempted a miss 6 pass that somehow didn’t come off. Wests came back for the penalty and Keir Breakwell knocked it over. 15-18.
With only moments of the first half remaining WL, as is now custom, shot themselves in the foot. First an infringement at the breakdown given YM a penalty, then the quick tap saw Alex Hughes dispatched to the bin, having tackled the ball carrier about 16 centimetres from where he tapped it, despite a full line of defence behind him. The man advantage told when having kept the ball for numerous phases YM spun it wide and caught WL short to cross in the corner. 15-18
Half Time Huddersfield YM 15 – 18 West Leeds
The second half continued much the same as the first, YM attacking the short side of the pitch in great numbers, and WL looking to spread the game a bit more. The next score came when WL used the width, spreading the ball to Eliah Chitiyo on the right wing, who scorched up the right hand side, drawing the last defender and passing back inside to Mark Calderwood, who joined Jack and George at the top of the try scoring list. Keir Breakwell again converting. 15-25.
Wests were now chasing what, on paper at least, seemed an unlikely away bonus point victory, and went close to crossing. George Carpenter picking and going blind, and the away defender keeping the ball in the ruck by not rolling away, the referee awarded advantage and a yellow card seemed certain to follow. Now, depending on who you ask, the penalty was reversed as George had not rolled away despite carrying the ball in, or the penalty was reversed as a certain member of the team had continued his protestations to the referee, who had had enough of us being moany. Either way, YM penalty and the chance went begging.
It was now the turn of WL to defend on there own try line, YM went very close sending the home prop straight at Dom Walsh. Dom was equal to the challenge though and deadlifted the prop off the try line to prevent the score.
This was followed by some expert turnover work by Will Betts (Yes you read that correctly) who turned over the ball, broke up field and set up the ball. Being astounded by this passage of play however, WL threw the ball into touch and YM had a lineout on the away 22. Eventually the pressure told, with John Marshall being woodloused by Huddersfields number 8 (who looked remarkably like Barney) who reached out to score. Unconverted. 20-25.
From kick-off George Carpenter secured a turnover, and held the ball aloft in a gladiator style ‘are you not entertained manner’. Unfortunately the joy didn’t last, from the penalty WL kicked to the corner, and then messed the lineout up, Tim almost hitting Sam Neave with his throw. From this YM opted for a scrum, and were then awarded a penalty.
The home number 8 tapped the penalty and knocked it on, much to the delight of the visiting fans and WL had a scrum. Solid scrum ball was provided again and captain Sam used all of his trickery to draw in three defenders, before delivering an outrageous offload to Eliah Chitiyo who raced away from the covering defence for the all important 4th try. Conversion missed. 20-30.
With only moments to go, George found enough time to get himself binned before Sam performed some kind of witchcraft to strip the ball from the YM 10 when he looked certain to score before clearing the ball and securing a vital victory for West Leeds.
Full time Huddersfield YMCA 20 – 30 West Leeds
A great team performance, with solid defence on display for the majority of the game. This weeks man of the match, despite his only mention above for doing something crap, was Tim Pickersgill, putting in some big tackles and getting through a lot of carries. Honourable mentions for Calders and Eliah, but they didn’t want the win enough to run anyone over.
Other points of note:
Sam got handed off
Duane and Ste having a lovers tiff in the warm up over who got to be closer to the handsome Dan Baxter in the mauls
Memberships renewed at the strip club for Betts and Bromley, whilst they introduced a new member in Duane Smith.
Phil spent £75 on Corona’s and didn’t even get any limes
Post-match fish pie
Excellent photos of the game were taken by Neville Wright who has kindly agreed to let us pinch them for our website
Updated 15:06 - 19 Feb 2019 by Daniel Baxter