LEIGH EAST 6
BRADFORD DUDLEY HILL 28
By Dave Parkinson
Despite what on the face of it looks another comprehensive defeat, Leigh East can take heart from their performance against a slick Bradford Dudley Hill. In the first twenty minutes there was little to choose between the teams with the hosts putting some constructive sets together and chasing well behind the kicking game of Adam Holland and Tom Worthington.
Just a couple of minutes in, Hill halfback Kyle Carter broke the line, but a determined chase by Adam Wilkes hauled him down. Similar inroads were made by Neil Wall with Ryan Hughes bringing him down after five minutes. A Group tackle also forced Andrew Walker over the touchline and ten minutes later James Morton suffered the same fate as the hosts tackled superbly.
Eventually however, weight of possession told and visiting stand off David Halley jinked over from close range. Simon Sennell added the first of four goals and the score was up and running after 20 minutes. A second try came four minutes later when centre Daniel Lee cut through the defence from close range and Sennell goaled again.
With Jamie Waters leading from the front, East remained in contention and Jordan Hellam was unfortunate to see his chip run dead. However in the 34th minute, Hill fullback Aiden Baten ran strongly and got an offload way to Wall. This time he fired a pass infield to Carter and he ran half the length of the pitch to score. This time Sennell missed but Dudley Hill took the 16-0 advantage to half-time.
Early in the second half Wall was sinbinned for delaying a restart and East lay seige to the line without quite finding a way through.
Josh Swift was put down five metres out, while Pat Rainford also suffered a similar fate. East also forced a couple of drop outs but the defence held firm before Morton finally found a way through at the other end and Sennell goaled for a 22-0 lead.
Five minutes later Hellam half broke the defence again only to be caught and Jay Yarwood was held up. Worthington also had a raid at the line but was judged to have knocked on. East continued to apply the pressure with Rainford pushed back infield after 67 minutes. The hosts were on top at this stage but couldn't crucially claim points until the 71st minute when Hellam went at the line again and Yarwood was at his shoulder to take the pass. Worthington goaled but almost as soon as East gave themselves a chance, Dudley Hill closed the game with a well worked score when Batey chimed into the line brilliantly to cross at the side of the posts and Senell wrapped up the win with his fourth and final goal.