East beat Waterhead in NCL thriller
Waterhead Warriors 28
Leigh East 34
By Dave Parkinson
Leigh East backed up their recent win over Millom with another victory in Division Three, this time on the road at Waterhead.
Eleven tries were scored in a lively game that also saw six yellow cards and a dismissal dished out. Brad Roden (Leigh East) was first to be carded for alleged use of an elbow in possession of the ball. That came after the opening Waterhead try from Jenson Hamilton, converted by Keegan Brennan.
Dane Taylor doubled the hosts lead before East hit back with the first of Aaron Noon's treble as he collected Jordan Hellam's pass to skip around the outside of the defence. Adam Holland converted. East then drew level after a fine try from Louis Else in support of the outstanding Andrew Ball and Hellam but Billy McDermott responded for the hosts. Just before the interval, Danny Griffiths scored for the visitors after another long-distance raid between Ball and Hellam and Holland converted to level things up at 16-all.
The second half saw Waterhead quickly out of the blocks with Liam Aspin scoring in the first couple of minutes. Brennan converted before Mitchell Birch (Waterhead) was sin-binned for alleged kicking. A crazy couple of minutes ensued with East new man Luke Belshaw also yellow carded for use of an elbow and Brennan kicked the resulting penalty, his fourth goal, to make it 24-16.
Dane Taylor scored his second try to open a twelve point advantage before East responded through Ball who zipped through from dummy half and Aaron Noon (with two confident finishes on the flank). The hosts then had Matthew Fogarty (alleged slapping) sin-binned, Brennan followed him in the aftermath of Noon's third which was quickly changed to red for dissent. Waterhead then finished the game with eleven men after Sean Garrett was yellow carded for alleged slapping while Holland completed Leigh East's win with a late penalty, his fifth goal of the game.