20 Mar 2022 in News
Leigh East 12 Bentley 12
By Dave Parkinson
The latest NCL Division Three game for Leigh East provided an enthralling eighty minutes of entertainment and with golden point rewards now a thing of the past, a draw was a deserved result for both sides at Ledgard Avenue on Saturday.
Both sides started well with new South Yorkshire NCL side Bentley having the best of the opening five minutes before halfbacks Ben Woods and Jay Boyd began dictating where the game was being played. With effervescent full-back Kieron Prescott in good form and returning prop Ben Mercer getting through plenty of work, East struck first.
The ball went left off Woods and second-row Joe Digby shrugged off a defender and set sail for the posts from forty metres. Woods goaled and the two players combined again in the 18th minute, this time Digby was first to react to a ricochet from Woods low kick and the halfback doubled the advantage out to 12-0.
East continued to find the going comfortable for most of the first half and were unlucky not to add to their score, a combination of players getting to the line and some committed defence from the visitors kept them at bay. Digby was held up over the line twice and held just short on another occasion while Prescott and Woods also threatened. Despite this pressure, they had to be content with a 12-0 advantage.
The second half was like a role reversal as Bentley began to dominate territory and there was little surprise when they opened their account through second row Ryan Craswell after 47 minutes. With East unable to dominate as they had in the first half, the visitors grew in confidence and when Boyd was sinbinned for dissent after 57 minutes, they quickly moved play to their left, and centre Shaun Richards touched down. As with his first goal effort, Jarrod Roach was wide and it was 12-8.
East had a couple of rare excursions on the Bentley line but couldn't get over and in a stunning late raid, the visitors crossed again with Marty Hall getting the ball down in the corner. Roach sent the final kick of the game wide and both sides had to be content with a draw.
This week East are on the road to another new NCL side Seaton who opened the season with two wins before being humbled at runaway East Leeds.