Leyland Warriors travelled to Widnes St Maries in the North West Men’s League – the site of their only defeat in 2014 so far, having lost out to their hosts in the Shield semi-final.
The Warriors were keen to put in a strong performance and a good start, which they did right from the kick off as they immediately showed good hands and Stewart Mclean off loaded to David Lonsdale to score inside the first minute.
Some more good play from the forwards saw Jonathan Cox go over before an interception from Widnes saw them score a long range converted try. After a period of hard play and some mistakes, Leyland got their structure back with good pushes from the forwards which saw McLean score to give Warriors the lead at half-time 18-6.
The second half saw Leyland have the better start again, with more good work from the forwards and good off loads resulting in further tries from Stephen Bryan, Paul Lorenzen, Pete Heatley and a brace from John Boles.
St Maries pushed hard throughout the game and were rewarded with a close range try late in the game. Cox had an impressive day with the boot, converting eight from eight attempts to make the final score 48-12 to Leyland.
l The Warriors women’s team went to Salford to play another of the North West’s newer sides, Langworthy Reds.
After an even opening 10 minutes it was debutant Jacci Bullen who broke the deadlock, with a try in the corner following quick hands from Katie Pilkington.
Langworthy worked their way back into the game and had a good period of pressure, resulting in a well-worked try of their own. Good work by the Warriors in the middle of the field with quick play the balls from Sarah Worrall led to tries for Rachel Vause and Sarah Lovejoy, both converted by Laura Parkinson, who added a fourth try for Leyland. Hannah Banks then broke the line and raced in at the corner to make it 24-4 at the break.
The second half saw a practiced play on for Bullen’s second try and Vause completed her brace after Emily Banks went close.
Some good handling from Cat Chamberlain and Charlotte Berry saw Parkinson score two tries in quick succession.
Fittingly it was Parkinson who completed the scoring, collecting a kick deep to score her fourth of the game and adding the conversion.
The Under-15s hosted Chorley Panthers in the Lancashire Cup and knew it was going to be a tough encounter, with the more experienced Panthers side being two divisions above the Warriors.
Leyland defended superbly in the opening quarter of the game, with nothing between the two sides and only a Warriors error set up position for Chorley to break the deadlock. As the half continued, the Panthers were able to add two further scores before Leyland’s effort was rewarded with a try to Doug McDonald.
The second half saw the Panthers experience shine through as they prevailed 44-6.
The Under-14s were at home to Culcheth Eagles and were looking to bounce back from some hard games in the last few weeks.
The way the lads started they looked like they were up for the game when Owen Sumner raced through a narrow gap and burst clear to score a great try. Matthew Wilkins then stepped through the line in his own half and raced away for a try.
This spurred Culcheth on and they quickly hit back to take the lead just after half-time and the Warriors looked to be in deep trouble. A break in play due to an injury to the referee gave Leyland the time to regroup and the lads were keen to up their effort. They certainly did just that as Henry Aspey powered in for a quick hat-trick of tries.
Ryan Stansfield then added a well worked try before man-of-the-match George Tighe got over for a much deserved score. Stansfield was 100% on target from the kicking tee plus Liam Higginson also added a conversion for a final score of 36-20.
The Warriors Under-9s, 10s and 11s all featured in a series of round-robin competitions at Chorley Panthers Festival over the weekend, playing a number of different sides from all over the North West.
Rochdale caught the Under-8s on the hop with a few early tries sneaking through the Warriors defence from length of the pitch runs early on in the Mayfield sets. However, Leyland stuck to their task, driving the ball forward through Harry Storey, Ellis Grice and a super performance from Edward Hailwood driving the ball towards the line.
Warriors put their training into practice and tried to pass the ball around with off-loads from Luke Schmid and Declan Fell. Robert Ashall took advantage of a dropped ball and made a dash for the try line only to be thwarted by the Mayfield defence.
Pius Whatton’s positive approach to the game and hard work and effort from Ellis Grice got the ball moving up the pitch for the Warriors. Top Tackle Harry Jones did some strong runs forward whilst Player of the Match Joseph Dodd did some great steps to put the opposition under pressure. Luke Schmid did some great runs making ground up the pitch with Declan Fell taking on the Rochdale defence to get the ball over the line once again for Leyland’s only try of the match giving the team the impetus to keep pushing forward.
Rochdale were just too strong and experienced for Warriors to break down but despite the score line the lads showed tremendous team spirit once again.