East overcome Gateshead Storm
LEIGH EAST 18
GATESHEAD STORM 16
By Dave Parkinson
Leigh East continued their push for the play-offs in Kingstone Press National Conference Division Three with a narrow victory over a plucky Gateshead Storm.
Things started off well for the hosts who created a number of chances in the first ten minutes, only to see the visitors take the lead through James Pocklington following a chip from outstanding scrum half Scott Woods and chase through from Daniel Chetwynd. Zach Clark goaled for a 6-0 Gateshead advantage.
Two tries in twelve minutes from sparky hooker Andrew Ball tipped the game back in East's favour. Both were good individual effort after the home pack had set the platform with Ball's vision, pace and even sidestep doing the rest. Adam Holland converted both to open a 12-6 advantage which Leigh East took to the break with them.
The showers became heavier, making handling conditions difficult. None the less, East made a superb start to the second half with a flowing move down the left that ended with Zac Nicholls running in a try. Holland goaled to make it 18-6 and the hosts looked comfortable until the hour mark when Alex Ruff sprinted clear from 25 metres and Clark goaled again.
Gateshead continued to plug away and their persistence was rewarded near the end when Michael Mitchell dotted down in the corner but Clark couldn't goal leaving East to claim the spoils.
Ball, Louis Else and debutant Ben Sims went well for East, with Pat Rainford giving an industrious performance to collect the man-of-the-match award.