East give themselves NCL 2 Lifeline
LEIGH EAST 46
EAST LEEDS 12
Leigh East gave themselves a fighting chance of National Conference Division Two survival following a resounding second half display against East Leeds.
The battling Yorkshire club overcame a torrid coach journey and named 16 players on the teamsheet, however only 14 arrived at the game due to a smash on the M62.
The game kicked off fifteen minutes later than billed and East made a tremendous start when player coach Martin Roden burrowed over from dummy half and Tom Worthington made it 6-0 with the conversion.
East Leeds responded with their big guys pushing the lighter home pack back and claimed their first try after eight minutes when hooker Ryan Wooffitt dived over from close range and struck the goal.
Nervous hands and the weather helped keep things tight and the hosts kicked long to build pressure. East Leeds full back Will Silkstone took matters into his own hands after 22 minutes, striking Phil Bickerstaff after playing the ball. Referee Nicky Carter was left with little option but to dismiss Silkstone.
This seemed to galvanise East Leeds and they played with lots of spirit. Wooffitt took advantage at dummy half to claim his second try, and converted to make it 12-6 to the visitors, a lead they held through half-time.
The second half saw the introduction of skipper Adam Holland from the bench and the East attack was transformed. Nathan Gaskell scored his first try seven minutes in and after holding a sustained spell of pressure from the visitors, East struck with a devastating scrum play that saw Ryan Gray speed away and beat a further two men in the twenty to touch down at the side of the posts.
Having regained the lead, confidence seared through the East side and they put their visitors to the sword. Josh Adudwumaa claimed another long range score before the hour before Jake Beaumont ran a superb line to score after 63 minutes. Leading 28-12, East weren't done and Gaskell grabbed his second try before Josh Swift went in.
The final minute brought more misery for the short-handed visitors when Swift raced onto a kick forward from a scrum and on the next play Gaskell ran at the middle before finding Holland in support to go under the posts. Holland then kicked his sixth goal to completed a sixteen point haul and ensure victory.