Laund Hill march on into the semi-final of the Yorkshire Silver Trophy.
The last time the Yorkshire Silver Trophy was brought back to Laund Hill was 42 years ago when captain Fred Nasey lifted the famous old trophy… and Fred was in attendance as he saw the current crop of players progress to the semi-final with a victory over league rivals, Leeds Corinthians.
The match started well for Laund Hill as Corinthians were found guilty of an infringement at the ruck, gifting a penalty to the home team 48 metres out. Captain Ed Black asked Tom Egan to go for an early attempt at goal and he calmly slotted the kick through the uprights for a 3-0 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the Leeds side as the kick from the restart did not go 10 metres and Laund Hill took possession. Working their way downfield, a kick through put pressure on the defence, forcing them to take a goal-line drop out. As the Hill forwards took control close to the Leeds line, prop Sam Burt powered his way over for the first try of the day. Egan added the extras.
From the kick-off, Laund Hill gathered the ball on their 22 metre line and scrum-half Lewis Vernon put up a towering bomb causing the Corinthians defence all kind of problems.
Unable to take the ball on the full, the Leeds winger allowed the ball to bounce and Archie Roberts was quickest in the race to the ball. Gathering it well, he then sprinted the 40 metres downfield to score in the corner. Once again the conversion was successful to give Laund Hill a 17-0 lead after just 10 minutes.
This lead looked like it was going to be extended just a few moments later as the dominant Laund Hill scrum earned a penalty for another shot at goal, but unfortunately on this occasion Egan was unable to convert.
And at this point, the home team’s fortunes started to change as recent bad habits started to creep in bringing ill-discipline to the fore. Conceding four penalties in three minutes, the momentum swung back to Corinthians who went on the attack.
However, the Laund Hill defence stood firm and snuffed out any danger close to the line. Unfortunately though, they were unable to get their grasp back on the game and any more scoring chances were very limited. Despite the strong start, the scoreline remained at 17-0 at half-time.
The coaches’ words at half-time looked to reset the team and get them back to what they were doing well at the start of the game and for a few brief moments it worked a treat.
Straight after the kick-off, Laund Hill were awarded a penalty that was kicked into touch. Using the power of the forwards again from the line-out, it was Ed Black that was able to get over the line for another converted try to take his team into a 24-0 lead.
The game should now have been put beyond Leeds, however a no-arms tackle from Corby Nasaqa close to his own line saw him sent to the sin-bin and Corinthians capitalised on the extra man advantage.
As they spun the ball wide from the penalty, the number 8 broke through the line for their first try of the game. The conversion was added. This seemed to motivate them even further and it wasn’t long before they were on the scoresheet again. Putting up a kick out of their own half, a Laund Hill error in back-play allowed them to regather the ball and break away for another converted try to reduce the
deficit to just 10 points.
With a few harsh words under the posts from the leadership group, Laund Hill knew that the next score of the game was vital.
Playing with a little more structure they were able to get back down into Corinthians territory and Egan darted down the blind-side through a gap. Looking certain to score, he was brought down by a high-tackle just inches from the line. However, on this occasion, the
referee did not reach into his pocket for a card, but it was obvious that his patience was running thin as just moments later when the Leeds centre was guilty of using his hands in the ruck, the yellow was shown to reduce them down to 14 men.
Such was the dominance of the Laund Hill set-piece, they elected to go for the scrum. And Corinthians proceeded to give away two further penalties and another warning from the referee. However, at the next scrum, the ball was moved out quickly and centre Tom Bulloch got over for a try under the sticks which Egan easily converted.
With the game heading into the final minute, all the home team needed to do was to safely see out the remaining moments.
However, once again, ill-discipline in the contact area saw Alex Bull yellow-carded for a high-tackle. Heading into the final play, Corinthians decided to keep the ball alive and push for the final score.
And as the clock ticked into the 85th minute, their patience was rewarded as they got over for the final try of the day. The conversion taking the final score to 31-21.
Head coach James Tindall said after the game, “Obviously, it’s a great achievement for the club to reach the semi-final of this competition and we’d take that every day of the week. However, there are still things that we need to fix to help ourselves out on the field. Once again, yellow cards have cost us 14 points and we all need to learn from that. All of our focus now returns to the league though and we’ve got a massive run of games up to the Christmas break. If we can get there with three wins it would be a great achievement.
Also, we’d just like to give a massive shout-out to Ollie Wright who stepped up from the second team to make his 1st XV debut this afternoon. It just goes to show that we have now got extensive strength in depth with people fighting for places. As a coaching team, that is now giving us headaches when it comes to selection, but it’s a great position to be in.”
Match-day Squad: Earnshaw, Roberts, Bulloch, Crotty, Burns-Smith, Egan, Vernon; Burt, Hill, Walsh, Dalton,
Black (c), Hiscock, Perfitt, Bender.
Replacements: Wright, Slater, Nasaqa, Bull.
Man of the Match: Ben Hill