25 Mar 2018 in News
LEIGH EAST 14 EAST LEEDS 16
By Dave Parkinson
It was again a case of so near yet so far for Leigh East as they lost their second NCL game of the season.
A thrilling encounter saw very little between the teams with visiting loose forward Luke Tomlinson opening the score after eight minutes, chasing a kick through. The conversion was missed and East responded after 19 minutes when a swirling kick was dropped under pressure by Jacob Walton. Adam Wilkes scooped up, charged on and his pass left found debutant winger David Griffiths and the under 18s winger finished in the corner. It proved too far out for Jordan Hellam to convert but he did add penalty goals after 26 and 34 minutes to nudge the hosts in front, 8-4 at the break.
Within a couple of minutes of the restart East Leeds were reduced to 12 men when John Carter was sinbinned for dangerous contact, a challenge that left Daniel Griffiths floored. Thankfully for East, he was able to continue. East Leeds defended particularly well during this period and some direct play saw them go down field, eventually leading to a second try from Luke Tomlinson after 51 minutes.
At 8-all, halfback Kane Reily goaled for the visitors to lead 10-8. It proved a short lived lead and within a couple of minutes Adam Holland kicked a penalty goal to tie the game up.
The effort of both sides was huge with Pat Rainford, youngsters David Griffiths and Harvey Massey and the likes of Jay Yarwood, Louis Else, Eddie Rainford Joe Connor and Cameron Coulton playing tough against physically bigger opponents.
With ten minutes to go Ryan Gray spotted a gap in the defence and reached out for a try but it was too far out for Holland to convert. At 14-10 the game was in East's grasp before a couple of penalties saw the visitors advance and a renewed possession call went in favour of East Leeds. After peppering Leigh East, they finally got through when former Leeds Rhinos Super League centre James Duckworth scored by the posts and Tomlinson goaled to secure the narrow 14-16 win and condemn East to their third close loss of the year.