06 May 2018 in News
Drighlington 36 Leigh East 12
By Dave Parkinson.
Chaos on the M62 delayed the start of Leigh East's latest game at Drighlington. A vehicle fire was the cause of the delay, but East were also to find their hosts on fire in the second half with four tries in twelve minutes deciding the outcome.
On the warmest afternoon of the year so far Leigh East ran into travel complications which meant they only arrived at Drighlington at 2:20pm. After consultation, the game eventually kicked off at 3.00pm.
East were much changed but made the better opening, forcing a drop out and then going close on their second set. A cross field kick brought a contest but home wing Tom Moorby fielded superbly and then raced ninety metres for the opening score. Halfback Michael Sanderson nudged over the first of six goals and the hosts led 6-0.
Seth Lambert was then sinbinned for the hosts for a dangerous tackle. East battled away and were rewarded out on the right flank after Ellis Noon was stopped short. A speedy play the ball saw Jordan Hellam and Zac Nicholls link superbly for Nathan Gaskell to crash over in the corner. A brilliant touchline conversion leveled the scores at 6-all.
With Sanderson pulling the strings, Drighlington applied pressure and a high kick from the scrum half was expertly defused by Danny Griffiths. The home defence just forced him out of play and from the possession worked a move to their right which brought a converted try from Jake Dearden.
East had their moments but the home team prevailed and went further in front when Sanderson added a penalty.
Late in the first half, the visitors created further chances but couldn't add to the scoreboard.
There was little between the teams for the opening fifteen minutes of the second half before East wilted.
A quick double from Daniel Sanderson made it 24-6 and East could only marvel as Moorby sliced through their line from forty metres for his second.
The host's sixth try, through substitute Jonathan Stainburn made the game safe at 36-6 before John Gallagher was sinbinned for disrupting a penalty.
East had the better of the closing stages and were rewarded when Ben Balmer, Cameron Coulton, Nicholls and Hellam all combined to get Jay Yarwood over by the posts with Hellam adding the final points from the boot.
An industrious performance by Pat Rainford saw him named East's Man of the Match and he received good support from Adam Wilkes with Ryan Lewis adding some eye-catching runs in the second half.
Following the 12-36 loss, Leigh East now prepare to welcome Hull Dockers to Ledgard Avenue on Saturday 12th May (2.30pm).