Sat 25 Nov 2017
1st XV lost 22 – 24 at home to West Leeds. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
Last week I praised the Northern team for their second-half performance which almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. However the boot was on the other foot when they allowed West Leeds to snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
After the opening skirmishes Northern went ahead when Patrick Douglas forced his way over after a 5 yard lineout. Sadly Northern's Achilles heel raised its ugly head when once again they did not secure the ball after a kick off and Leeds scored a try through their ex-rugby league winger Calderwood, after 19 minutes. Tom Robinson was injured later in the half which resulted in a re-shuffle with Charlie Burrows coming on at fly-half, Donal Collins moving to full back and Dan Matthews to the wing. Matthews was put clear after 30 minutes and kicked over the full back winning the race to the line to score with Collins improving for Northern to lead 12 -5 at half time.
West Leeds began the second half in the attack but Northern held their own in both scrum and line out until Andrew Connor intercepted, made ground and with a deft pass inside put Joe Young clear to score under the posts. Collins converted and the home club now lead 19-5 after 47 minutes. Moments later Andrew Connor was yellow carded for collapsing a maul and Leeds reduced their deficit with an unconverted try. In a rare visit to the Leeds 22 Collins kicked a penalty to take Northern further ahead on 56 minutes. The Leeds full back made a fantastic break from half way and this resulted in them scoring a converted try after 65 mins. Now with the deficit down to 5 points Northern replied sadly missing a penalty and then a pass to put in Smallwood was called forward – all those in line including Leeds supporters considered an incorrect decision - and with time running out, somehow Leeds managed to finally score a try in the right corner to level the scores. The try was converted with a majestic right footed kick to the total despair of the home club who certainly were worth a draw. West Leeds supporters, 40 or so, were cock-a-hoop with their team moving to 3rd in the league!
We are home again next Saturday to fellow strugglers West Hartlepool so please give your team all the support to help us move away from the basement.