BRAMLEY BUFFALOES 30 WEST HULL 22 – Mend-a-hose Stadium, Castleford, Saturday
by Phil Caplan
In front of a vociferous crowd of over 300, Bramley’s early points blitz – which saw them register four tries inside the opening quarter – and determined goal line defence in the second half, saw them claim the Premier Grand Final prize.
Darrel Forster, one of three who remain at the Buffaloes from their National 3 days, and who finished with five goals, was instrumental in the defining spree, Wests leaving themselves too much to do but outscoring their opponents from there on in.
Buffaloes signalled their intent in the opening set, a massive hit by Jonny Bradley stopping Benn Arbon in his tracks.
But Wests responded, Liam East, Ash Shaw and Lennox Green combining to set Dan Cure free but Arbon’s kick on the last was too strong.
From there, Buffaloes dominated, Nathan Hammond’s break allowing Forster’s long cut-out pass to put Jerome Malcolm over for the opening score, Forster goaling.
Bramley doubled their lead in the 11th minute, winger Liam Copland showing terrific footwork with two superb sidesteps and the pace to race clear to the posts from half way, Forster with his second goal.
Four minutes later, Wests lost the ball on half way and, from the free play, Hammond twice hacked on and re-gathered to touch down, Forster again on target.
Wests put the restart out on the full and, as the amber and black tide rolled remorselessly forward, scrum half Ben Dean dummied and nipped over, Forster’s goal making it 24-0 in 18 minutes.
Callum Ling got Wests on the front foot and East manufactured a back-to-one call from a kick on the last but the Buffaloes goal-line defence was superb, surviving three sets as big Ben Parler, Sam Baker and Green went close, Tom Blakey’s grubber too long.
Buffaloes responded, Steve Suddards and Dean setting up Forster but he was held up over the line, Malcolm also denied.
Bramley full back Terry Brown then went on a tremendous 70 metre run but could just not pick up his supports.
East continually prompted and worked hard to get West Hull into the game, his excellent short pass looking to have put Blakey over as half time approached but the hooker dropping the ball over the line, and Arbon’s subsequent ball to Kail Arnott was forward.
Wests showed renewed vigour at the start of the second half as the sun came out, Ellerington and Shaw with drives, Blakey and East finding Arbon whose kick was scrambled dead by Malcolm.
From the drop out, Cure and Callum Lane darted, Green danced but East’s kick on the last was too strong as Bramley’s defence held.
Another Buffaloes knock on saw Shaw with a great offload find East and Arbon forced a second drop out but Wests lost possession cheaply, Cure then sin binned after a needless scuffle near the touchline.
That seemed to galvanise the Humbersiders, East with a great ball on the inside for Ben Parler, whose superb slipped pass saw Baker across between the posts in the 56th minute, Green with the extras.
Hammond led the Buffalo charge and, even though Suddards was hit late from a kick, advantage saw Omar Alrawi hack on and win the race to the ball, Foster again good with the boot to make it 30-6.
West Hull regained the kick off and, after Arbon had done well, Blakey’s short ball saw Ben Parler crash over and Green goal as Cure returned.
Ben Parler again led the charge in a tremendous cameo role, Lane going close and East held up as the Bramley defence remained resolute.
Forster and Bradley made ground but Suddards was wide with a field goal attempt as the game entered the closing stages.
Joe Staples put in a couple of crushing tackles for West Hull, they forced a drop out and Ellerington and Caluin Parler went close, but Jack Watt’s pass to Cure went into touch.
There was still time for late drama, Shaw was brought down by a fine tackle from Bradley but Ben Parler crashed over for his second try from close range for determined Wests.
From the restart, Caluin Parler and Ling got Dylan Price free down the left touchline and his inside ball saw Blaine Goulton go over but Green could not add the extras.
It was too little, too late for Wests, their slow start ultimately undoing them.
BUFFALOES: 1. Terry Brown, 2. Jerome Malcolm, 3. Nathan Hammond, 4. Omar Alrawi, 5. Liam Copland, 6. Steve Suddards, 7. Ben Dean, 8. Dave Parker, 9. Craig Boot, 15. Jonny Bradley, 11. Alex Brier, 12. Daz Forster, 13. Robin Wilks, Subs (all used); 10. Gaz Hudson, 16. Ryan Jackson, 18. Ryan Campbell, 19. Andrew Hepworth
Tries: Malcolm (6), Copland (11), Hammond (15), Dean (18), Alrawi (60)
Goals: Forster 5
WESTS : 1. Lennox Green, 2. Dylan Price, 3. Callum Ling, 4. Jack Watts, 5. Dan Cure, 6. Ben Arbon, 7. Liam East, 8. Oscar Ellerington, 9. Tom Blakey, 10. Kail Arnott, 11. Callum Lane, 12. Caluin Parler, 13. Ash Shaw, Subs (all used); 14. Joe Staples, 15. Sam Baker, 16. Blaine Goulton, 18. Ben Parler
Tries: Baker (56), B. Parler (63, 78), Goulton (79)
Goals: Green 3
Men of the match:
BUFFALOES – Darrel Foster
WESTS – Ash Shaw
Half time: 24-0 Referee: Phil Lawley