East suffer third successive NCL defeat
LEIGH EAST 14 HUNSLET WARRIORS 20
By Dave Parkinson.
Leigh East slipped to their third successive loss on Saturday where the goal-kicking of Hunslet Warriors scrum half Jordan Gale proved decisive.
This was another close game between two good sides at Ledgard Avenue but despite dominating first half territory, East couldn't register points. Prop Joe Togher and centre Zac Nicholls both went close before Hunslet gave notice of their potential with a break down the left.
The visitors hit the front in the 14th minute when the ball was kicked to the in-goal area, batted back from the line and Clapham pounced. Gale goaled and East toiled with Danny Griffiths and Ellis Noon looking threatening following the prompting of Jordan Hellam and skipper Adam Holland.
There was no change to the score until a minute from the break when East were pinged for a penalty and Gale converted.
Trailing 8-0, East were quick out of the blocks in the second half and opened their account after 48 minutes when Noon proved too strong near the line.
Within five minutes, Hunslet Warriors grabbed their second try when wing Lee West went over. Back came East and after some pressure it was Nicholls that crashed over from dummy half. With Louis Else impressing, East looked set to take control but Hunslet had other ideas.
Once more the Warriors responded with Daryl Gaunt dancing in from a scrum and Gale's goal opened a ten point advantage.
As Hunslet went for the killer blow a superb bit of anticipation from Brad Whelan brought an intercept from the winger and he ran sixty metres for Holland to convert brilliantly from out wide.
Both teams traded field position, but it was the visitors who made sure of victory two minutes from time when a high tackle handed Gale his fourth goal and the Warriors a 20-14 success.