East Leeds



First Team

Sat 11 Mar 2017 | National Conference League Division 2 | Away


Easy Road





By Dave Parkinson

Leigh East made the trip to Easy Road but found East Leeds anything but.

From the outset, the Leeds side were on the front foot. They scored after just two minutes when a wide pass right found Jordan Normington. The winger chipped ahead and behind Josh Adudwumma and won the race for the corner.

Eight minutes later, the hosts swept downfield again and came away with points through winger Shane Plunkett. This followed quick hands from John Carter, Nathan Conroy and Tom Sheldrake along with a piercing run by Kyle Quinlan.

Again the try was converted and East Leeds led 12-0.

Easts struggled to make ground but forced their hosts into a couple of errors. As they brought the ball away from their own thirty metre line in the 20th minute, Lee Rowley was clamped in a three man tackle. Unfortunately the long serving forward suffered a serious leg injury in the process. The Leeds side reacted to the spilled ball and big second row Lee Priestley scored.   Third goal made it 18-0 before an enforced stoppage while everyone waited for an ambulance. 

The stoppage lasted an hour with Rowley receiving the best care and attention, first of all from the medical volunteers and then from the ambulance crew.

The game was restarted and East were in determined mode despite starting halfback Jordan Hellam joining Chris Penn on the touchline. Both were unable to return and any hopes of rotation were ended when shortly after Louis Else had to be withdrawn too. 

With no substitutes to come on and 18-0 down, East were staring down the barrel of a massive defeat but came together as a team to take the contest to their hosts.

With Martin Roden playing smartly in the pack and the likes of Dean Balmer, Lee Wingfield and Steve Ormesher setting the platform for Phil Bickerstaff and Tom Fletcher, it was a great effort and the next try came Easts way after half an hour.

Ormesher showing both strength and guile to get to the line. Tom Worthington, moved back to fullback with Billy Bishop moved into the halves, kicked the goal and Leigh East continued to impress with a long run coming in from Nathan Gaskell before Adudwumma saw the ball snatched from his grasp by Adam Hartley. This set the platform from which Ben Walkin was able to run through the middle to the posts. A fourth goal hoisted the score to 24-6 at half-time.

Leigh East battled gamely at the start of the second half, at their best when direct before Hartley added a powerful finish from thirty metres.

East saw a potential try for Josh Swift wiped off by the referee and tested their hosts with some spread plays but East Leeds responded. At the other end, Leigh East harassed their hosts and were breached just once more, three minutes from time when Rhys Kilbride ducked back inside to score.

The sixth successful goal closed the score at 36-6 but the work Leigh East did in such trying circumstances was nothing but commendable with Head Coach Paul Wingfield feeling his team had dug in and had a go.


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