RUGBY Midlands Two West (North)
Leek 75 Willenhall 12
LEEK maintained their unbeaten record against a hard-working Willenhall side that never gave up and showed why the promoted side will trouble other clubs this season.
In the end, an 11-try haul for Leek kept the momentum going ahead of the remaining two league fixtures for this half of the season.
Leek went ahead with less than three minutes on the clock when a Willenhall clearance kick found Newton Taylor. He gratefully fed Floyd, who sprinted in under the posts. Gary McDermott converted.
Eight minutes later, McDermot extended Leek's lead to 10-0 with a penalty kick awarded for offside. Wilson was injured in that ruck and was replaced by Luke Hardern.
On 14 minutes, a Leek scrum on their own 10-metre line saw the ball passed blind to full back Taylor, who sidestepped and dummied his way past three would-be tacklers to score under the posts again. McDermott converted to make it 17-0.
Willenhall then contained Leek for the next 15 minutes but on 31 minutes great continuity by the home forwards and backs eventually led to Nick Palmer bursting through to score.
The conversion was missed.The visitors scored a deserved try two minutes later following good rucking from a line-out. The conversion was good and Leek's lead was reduced to 22-7.
Four minutes later, Willenhall's backs crossed the halfway line in determined fashion but were penalised for holding on in the tackle.
A quick tap by Harris to Newton Taylor saw the full back sprint in from halfway for his second try, which was not converted.
As the game entered added time on in the first half, Leek scored twice.
Firstly, superb hands and support on the right sucked in the Willenhall defence and then good passing left allowed Palmer in for his second try, which was converted.From the kick-off return, retention of the ball and good mauling again had Willenhall on the back foot and after good hands, another maul near the Willenhall line broke up with Ad Nettel able to crash over for the try – but again, not converted.
In the opening minute of the second half, a Leek penalty for a scrum offence saw the decision to kick three points by McDermott vindicated as he kept the score ticking over.
On 48 minutes, Palmer made a break to the Willenhall 22. Leek lost the ensuing ruck but a charge down and gather by Nettel then released Liam McDermott for a try under the posts. Brother Gary converted and the score was 49-7.
Jack Conlon came on at hooker on 52 minutes. Five minutes later, Hardern was yellow carded for a lineout pulling down.
This signalled a change in the game as Willenhall opted for the scrum in the Leek 22. After successfully holding the first scrum, Willenhall's No 8 picked up on the second scrum and crashed over for a try. It was unconverted but Willenhall had reduced the deficit to 49-12.
With Leek down to 14 men, Willenhall took control for the next 10 minutes and retained the ball well.
Eventually, as Willenhall ran the ball from their own 22 on 73 minutes, an interception by Liam McDermott – who went in under the posts – sapped the energy from the Willenhall lads and with the conversion, Leek were up 56-12.
The last four minutes produced another three tries for the hosts.
On 79 minutes, the pack won a tight head in midfield and Floyd sprinted in at the right side. McDermott converted.
From the kick-off, a Leek maul on the right and then great passing found Newton Taylor in space.
He went in under the posts for his hat-trick, which was no less than the Staffordshire under-20s player deserved. McDermott converted to make it 70-12.
With the last play of the game, the Leek forwards mauled to their 10 metre line before Harrison and Milner saw the defensive line open up.
Harrison timed his pass to Milner perfectly and the prop ran as fast as he could to the try line for the final score.
Next up is the visit of Ludlow to Esterchem Park this Saturday (2.15pm).
On the same day, third placed Crewe and Nantwich take on second-placed Moseley Oak.
Leek travel to Birmingham the following week to face Moseley Oak themselves.
Leek 35 Buxton 5
A strong Leek team faced mature opponents who soon had them asking questions.
From a fantastic layoff from Harry Byrne, Noah Reaney opened up the scoring for the home team with an amazing run.
Joseph Meakin set up Sam Heath charge his way through to make it 10-0.
Joshua Nadin, Kinney Critchlow and Heath worked their socks off tackling, whilst fast running from Noah Reaney, Lewis Sale and Meakin tested Buxton.
Just before the break, Sale slipped his marker to grab his first of the day 15-0 The second half was a similar story.
Buxton 30 Leek 5
THIS game quickly became a damage limitation exercise for the Moorlanders. Good play by Leek slowed Buxton's advances but for all their efforts, the visitors ran out convincing winners.
Leek 25 Buxton 0
THE The Moorlanders soon took the lead through Sam Heath, and strong tackling from Critchlow and Reaney slowed Buxton's progress.
Meakin slipped the Buxton defence and played a sweet pass to Noah Reaney to double Leek's lead to 10-0.
Soon afterwards, excellent team play set up Bettany to grab a try.
The second half saw Leek take control with another try from Bettany, to complete his first-ever hat-trick.
Buxton were held back with strong tackling from Leek, who again seized on the visitors' errors. Critchlow finished the game off with another try.
Leek 65 Buxton 35
Leek Mean Machine 64 Buxton 0
Leek's Joe Byrne score immediately and went on to complete a well-deserved hat-trick.
Buxton could not handle the pace of Dominic Winwood and he scored four long-range tries.
The Leek pack showed great improvement in the scrums and won the ball at will.
Hayden Heath scored a barnstorming try, with Oliver Corden following his team mate with a great forward individual score. Melody Dunn completed the scoring from a great pass by Joe Byrne.