Leek 66 Camp Hill 0
LEEK continued their unbeaten run for the season with their seventh league win as they outplayed their visitors in the end to record 10 tries.
There was a minute’s silence in memory of club stalwart Pete Smallwood, who had passed away, coupled with an early Remembrance Day tribute.
The opening quarter of this match was a huge contest, with Leek tending to elaborate the game and producing numerous unforced errors.
Camp Hill defended strongly and made a couple of decent breaks which tested the home defence.
Gary McDermott missed a 12th minute penalty attempt miss but the game was tight and it wasn’t until the 18th minute that Leek finally broke through.
A ruck formed on the Camp Hill five-metre line and from that lock, Ed Harrison crashed over for the first try. McDermott failed with the conversion.
On 29 minutes, an offside decision allowed Dan Needham to take a quick penalty and Liam McDermott made the Camp Hill line.
Ed Cheadle wrestled the ball from the ruck and touched down. McDermott converted and Leek went 12-0 up.
Five minutes later, Andy McFadden won a lineout. This time, Gary McDermott made an inside break, drew the full back and passed to brother Liam, who went in under the posts.
Skipper McDermott converted to make the score 19-0.
Josh Mays Woodhead took a knock and was replaced by wing Nick Palmer in the centre, allowing Jack Newton Taylor to come on to the wing.
On 40 minutes, Leek won a penalty for deliberate knock-on and another quick tap saw Dan Smith on the end of a series of passes to score wide right.
McDermott’s fine conversion ended the half, with Leek on top at 26-0 and a bonus point in the bag.
However, if Leek thought it was going to be an easy ride in the second half, they were to be mistaken.
Camp Hill were galvanised early on and their no 8, who played very well and was a thorn in Leek’s side throughout, made a great break deep into Leek’s 22.
Only a try-saving tackle into touch prevented a Camp Hill score.
Camp Hill pressed but they couldn’t break through and on 47 minutes, a fumble led Leek to counter and following a scrum to Camp Hill, Dan Needham stole a ruck ball.
He ran blind, passed to James Wilson and then his inside ball to Ed Harrison saw the big lock score his second try of the day. McDermott missed the conversion.
Camp Hill came back and competed strongly until the 63rd minute when Leek won a penalty.
It led to another charging run from Ed Harrison which eventually led to a weakened blind side defence that allowed Liam McDermott to sprint through for his second try. McDermott again converted as Leek went 38-0 up.
At this point, Camp Hill’s resolve started to fade and from the next three kick-offs, Leek scored tries as the tackling fell away and strong runs and support from the Leek forwards created the continuity for Luke Granger, Ed Cheadle and Ed Harrison to score tries (Harrison his third). All were converted by McDermott.
Finally, on 78 minutes, a break from Leek’s own 22 saw Jack Newton Taylor heading for the line.
He was bravely tackled but the young wing passed off the ground to an advancing Andy McFadden to score under the posts. Gary McDermott converted to end the scoring.
A club spokesman said: “Admittedly, Camp Hill were a few first-teamers short, but the Leek squad played hard for the full 80 minutes and can only be praised for their intelligent play and determination.
“Camp Hill have played well recently and will regard this as a one-off bad day.” Big wins for Crewe and Nantwich and Moseley Oak mean the top three teams pulled a point further away from fourth-placed Ludlow, who secured a win against Bridgnorth. Stafford won their first game and Old Salts continue to improve.
LEEK travelled to Congleton with a 14-strong squad which they split into two teams, Tigers and Lions:
Congleton B 5 Leek Tigers 15
TIGERS lost the toss but soon forced Congleton to make a mistake that let Leek take the lead.
From the restart, Leek pressured their hosts and they again slipped Congleton’s defence to make it 0-10.
Congleton replied with some superb play but Leek were not prepared to make it easy for their hosts.
Again, slack play let Leek force through to extend their lead.
The second half saw Congleton try to put some points on the score sheet. It took a while but they showed passion and ran in a superb try.
Congleton A 35 Leek Lions 25
LIONS faced a strong physical team and Congleton took a 5-0 lead almost from the start.
The visitors started slowly and were disorganised, which opened up a gap for which they were punished again as the gap widened to 10- 0.
Leek rallied and managed to claw five points back but Congleton pressed again and at the break led 15-5.
The second half was more of the the same.
Leek didn’t seem to gel, and it was not long before their hosts made them pay. Two more tries made an unassailable gap.
Leek fought hard, however, and by the final whistle they had managed to close the gap to 35-25.
Congleton A 5 Leek Tigers 25
IN THIS clash, Leek took the game to Congleton, who didn’t know what had hit them.
The visitors seemed to want the win more, and three superb tries put Leek in the driver’s seat.
At the restart, Congleton put pressure on the Leek defence but it was solid, and the Moorlanders soon broke to open up a four-try gap.
Leek weren’t finished, though, and scored another superb try. Congleton touched down a consolation in the dying minutes.
Congleton B 15 Leek Lions 40
IN THIS game, Leek were looking to settle the score for their earlier defeat at the hands of Congleton’s A team.
Fast runs by Leek, combined with some great tackling, made this game a treat to watch.
Leek opened up a two-try lead in the first half.
Congleton replied in kind at the beginning of the second half, as two quick scores levelled the score at 10 apiece.
Leek went into overdrive and forced their hosts to make mistakes.
The Moorlanders punished the errors with three more tries before Congleton could reply to make the scoreline 15-35.
Leek were not finished, though, and again pressed hard and were rewarded with another great try just before the final whistle.
Congleton 0 Leek 25
CONGLETON asked to play their best against Leek’s best.Leek stepped up to the challenge and it was not long before they took the lead.
Congleton pushed Leek back with some hard runners but some fantastic tackling and swift passing saw Leek score another try.
The second half was totally dominated by Leek, who scored three more tries.
Final aggregate score: Congleton 60 Leek 125 Leek squad and scorers: Joshua Nadin (4), Noah Reaney (3), Harry Byrne (1), Joseph Meakin (2), Sam Heath (3), Lewis Sale (1), George Bailey, Kinny Critchlow (5), Louis Torr (2), Danny Day, (2) Logan Robinson (1), Theo Bettany (1), Oliver Hall, Joe Knight.
Mean Machine 42 Derby 28
THE MEAN Machine welcomed Derby for the first time to Leek.
Derby are one of the strongest teams in their county but they soon realised they were up against a huge challenge from the Staffordshire team. Leek opened the scoring with pace man Dominic Winwood showing a clean pair of heels.
Joe Byrne then added a second as Leek took control. A rare lack of discipline allowed Derby to score, but Leek finished the half on top.
Leek then began to dominate possession, with Oliver Corden winning the line-out ball at will.
Hayden Heath added a blockbusting try and another score from Dominic Winwood saw Leek run out comfortable winners.
A more relaxed game then followed, with Leek trying out different players in new positions.
This helped Derby to get back into the game and they scored three quick tries.
Leek then rallied and replied with an impressive score from Tom Rigby – and the try of the match, when Joe Byrne ran 60 yards only to be caught five yards short of the line.
Melody Dunn was the first Leek player in support and carried the ball over the line with three Derby players trying to stop her.
Bakewell 21 Leek 74
THE GAME began with Leek in the ascendancy and good powerful running from Josh Sales, Mitch Whilock and Reagan Chell gave the platform for Josh DeGale to grab his first of a hattrick of tries.
This was matched by Will Midwinter who also claimed three scores and Joel Hine went over twice.
Other tries were added by Callum McCarron, Rowan Blanchard, Sam Brereton and Sam Lloyd.
Bakewell tried valiantly and did reply with three tries themselves but great defensive work from Henry Weetman and Max Hine ensured Leek recorded a big win.
Leek squad and scorers: Josh Cartlidge, Callum McCarron (1), Henry Weetman, Josh DeGale (3), Josh Lyttleton, Max Hine, Josh Sales, Joel Hine (2), Mitch Whilock, Regan Chell, Rowan Blanchard (1), Sam Brereton(1), Sam Lloyd (1), Shane Salt, Tom Leach, James Shenton, William Midwinter (3).