AN UNUSUALLY dry Birchall morning saw Rhinos kicking off into the wind and against the slope – but they wasted no time in taking the initiative.
Strong work by Oliver Watson in midfield saw the ball out to Isaac Smith on the left, who put in a great cross for Luke Webster-Barks to drive home.
Leek maintained the early pressure but struggled in the final third and the wind and uphill slope saw Weston Coyney get more into the game as the half progressed.
Weston Coyney's fast centre forward kept causing the Leek defence problems, but Hilton's reflexes and command of his area kept the visitors at bay.
An injury to Oliver Watson brought Josh Gilman on and with only one sub to use for the day, Leek were down to nine fit players for the remainder of the match.
Shortly before half-time, Warriors broke through the resolute Leek defence to end the first period level at 1-1.
The second half saw Leek with the wind at their backs and they started off strongly again, with good running from Kian Emery and Dan Gilligan enjoying a more forward role.
Hayden Wood was strong in midfield and the attention of numerous markers didn't stop him from finding the net.
Weston Coyney's numerical advantage and fresh legs again kept Hilton busy in goal but a performance well worthy of his star player award shut out all that the visitors could throw at him.
Leek continued to pressure with the ever-industrious Beck Bromley, and a number of corners and throw-ins, but couldn't find the net to increase their lead.
Weston Coyney equalised with a ball hit in over the top, which the Leek defence thought was sailing out of play for a goal-kick. All in all, this was a good performance for the first competitive match of the year, with a draw being a fair result for both teams.