Bradford & Bingley 15 West 20

By Dave Picken - April 12 2015
Bradford & Bingley 15 West 20 North One East rugby is guaranteed for next season after a tremendous performance overcame a desperate Bees side ..  and the elements ..

With a handful of regular players missing - and a number of backs asked to play in unaccustomed positions - the odds were stacked against us.

They were made worse by the gale, which roared down the valley and the length of the pitch, and which looked to suit the home team’s much bigger pack. But the outcome was that the Bees rarely threatened our line as they were repeatedly knocked back.

We started the game with the wind at our backs, and such was its strength that four times in the first half clearance kicks from our 22 went dead at the other end.

The first came from Stu Waites after Kyle Jamieson stopped home danger man Richard Tafa as he broke through .

Zac Southern then had saw a normally routine penalty attempt screw wide of the posts after ten minutes - it only proved to be a “sighter” as he succeeded with a second attempt three minutes later.

The Bees fought their way back and got the first try of the game when flanker Dan Cookson peeled off the back of a line out and forced his way over.

Richard Scull failed with his kick, and we returned to the home half looking for some scores of our own while we had the elements in our favour.

We were helped when Richard Tafa was in the sin bin for foul play at a ruck  closely followed by a breakaway try for Sam Miller.

The West No 8 reacted quickly as the home side spun the ball out from a line-out intercepting to gallop in from 20 metres with Southern converting.

Greg Edwards, arriving at Bingley after a train and coach journey which began at Blackpool at 6 a.m. and took in Hartlepool to get his boots,  burst through. He was tackled just short as he looked for support - if he'd backed himself he'd probably have scored. Fortunately, we were awarded a penalty which Southern stroked over.

Just before the break Andrew Rollins was yellow carded for kicking out at the ball as Scull went to collect from a ruck. So we faced the start of the second half down to 14 men and with what looked like a meagre eight point lead.

Instead, we took the game to the hosts and almost added to our lead in the first minute. Stu Waites, playing in the unaccustomed role of scrum half, broke through and his pass sent Calkum Johnston racing up the wing .

The youngster was tackled just short of the line, and as the West forwards piled in in support a try looked on the cards only for Owen Bennett to be penalised.

A minute later we were down to 13 men when Scott Butcher was sin binned for kicking the ball into touch while in an offside position. No argument there.

That might have been the cue for the Bees to pile on the pressure, but again tenacious tackling kept them at bay, and we even managed to score the crucial try when  still down to 14 men.

Jamieson collected and started the move which saw Sam Miller break through the defence. He powered his way into the home 22 before offloading to the mercurial Liam Bailey who managed to go over despite the attentions of two tacklers.

Southern’s conversion gave us a two score buffer and we continued to be the side which looked the most likely to score.

The Bees did have a brief flutter after a slightly fortunate try after 55 minutes. Waites and Johnston broke up the left wing only for a grubber kick into the 22 to take an unlucky bounce and come off the back of last defender Alex Hamard.

He picked up and set of a move, which saw Peter Youll lying in a heap after an off the ball collision, and with Tafa eventually going over.

Scull’s conversion reduced the gap to eight points. It failed to change the pattern of play as we attacked again with Southern even opting for an audacious drop goal attempt into the gale. It almost came back over his head.

The Bees did mount one final attack, however they were happy to opt for three points from a penalty to ensure a losing bonus point rather than set up a potential try scoring line-out.

This was a real team performance with Chrissy Atkins (pictured) putting in a real shift and deservedly winning the Man of the Match award (he's not so good at drinking pints and may not yet have finished it) with Pinhead, Danny Boatman and the rest of the pack not far behind.

The "makeshift" back line looked anything but as they tackled the strong midfield runners and the handling in the conditions was exceptional at times.

The final game is at Sheffield next week where the home side will be licking their wounds after losing their top spot to Ilkley. Remarkably, we have the prospect of finishing in the top half if we can continue the form of the past month. Don't bet against it.

Bradford and Bingley: Adam Mitchell, Alex Hamard, Stuart Dixon, Richard Tafa, Adam Wellington, Tom Bills, Richard Scull, Roger Raper, Matt Cochrane, Ryan Wederell, Richard Hughes, Brett Mitchell (captain), Dan Cookson, Chris Fisher, Greg Whately.

Reps: Harry Jeffrey, Ian Judson, Harry Hall.

Tries: Fisher, Tafa.

Cons: Scull (1)

Pens: Scull (1)

Yellow: Tafa, Judson.

West: Kyle Jamieson, Scott Butcher, Greg Edwards, Peter Youll, Callum Johnston, Zac Southern, Stu Waites, Ian Pinchen, Andrew Rollins, Ross Wood, Chris Atkins, Owen Bennett, Liam Bailey, Dan Boatman (captain), Sam Miller.

Reps: Dan Quinn, Jack Angus, Alex Barker.

Tries: Miller, Bailey.

Cons: Southern (2)

Pens : Southern (2)

Yellow: Rollins, Butcher.


Bradford & Bingley 15 West 20
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
12/04/2015 11:02
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Re: Bradford & Bingley 15 West 20
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
12/04/2015 13:56
Magnificent!!! Well done WEST sounds like a real brave determined performance. Fantastic if we can do it again next week. As I said top half is a possibility, but at least we are well safe!!

Re: Bradford & Bingley 15 West 20
13/04/2015 14:17
Must admit to being more than pleasantly surprised by this result. Bradford must have been desperate to win this game and when I saw how many West players were missing I thought we would do very well to get a bonus point.
Well lads you proved me wrong and I take my hat off to you all.

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