Division 3

27/04/2024, 14:30

Elland ARLFC


Bramley Buffaloes

Match Report

Buffaloes travelled to Elland/Greetland hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Andy and Devon Johnson

With a sea of fresh faces and familiar ones, it was obvious that the Buffaloes’ coaches had their work cut out during the week to raise a team for the Elland match, especially with most of the first team away in Benidorm for a stag weekend. Despite the Buffaloes’ reasonable plea for a postponement, the newly engaged Elland/Greetland coach denied it – I couldn’t possibly imagine why…. Especially considering that the Greetland/Elland team also had several players enjoying the sunny shores of Benidorm, making the decision not to postpone the match all the more peculiar.

The hosts kicked off and started the brightest, seizing the initiative within eight minutes by notching up two converted tries, both stemming from repeat sets due to the Buffaloes’ lack of discipline. However, in the 12th minute, the Buffaloes clawed their way back with a try of their own. Cam Leeming stepped up, throwing his body into the fray to break through the home side’s defence and score near the posts, with Keiran McFarlane adding the extras to narrow the gap to Buffaloes 6 – 12.

The remainder of the first half saw both teams engaging in a closely contested battle, with promising breaks but a failure to execute the final pass effectively. Despite moments where the Buffaloes seemed poised to break through, the home side managed to disrupt their momentum, somehow getting a body between the main in possession and his support. Kieran McFarlane found himself in a promising position but fell short of scoring, while Cam Leeming showcased his agility only to be halted just shy of the try line. Unfortunately, as the first half approached its 35th minute, the home side squeezed in their third converted try, leading to a half-time score of Buffaloes 6 – 18.

Half-time score: Buffaloes 6 – 18.

As the second half began, a sense of determination surged from the Buffaloes. In the 45th minute, Dan Booth, a constant threat to the home side, embarked on several powerful runs, ultimately bulldozing his way through Elland’s defensive line to notch the Buffaloes’ second try. This was expertly converted once more by Keiran McFarlane, bringing the score to Buffaloes 12 – 18.

A mere five minutes later, Elland/Greetland launched a counterattack and secured a converted try, altering the scoreboard to Buffaloes 12 – 24.

The Buffaloes, however, remained resolute in their efforts to narrow the deficit, with Cam Leeming charging forward forcefully, breaking through the home side’s defence. However, at this pivotal moment, the home team’s coach showed how worried he was, exhibiting unsportsmanlike behaviour by denying Kieran McFarlane the use of the Elland kicking tee for the conversion attempt. This childish act, unprecedented in my fifty years of following rugby league, highlighted a glaring absence of fair play in the coaching philosophy of the home side’s former professional coach, Jamie Bloem. Nevertheless, Kieran, undeterred by this obstruction, opted for a more traditional approach, teeing the ball up himself and successfully slotting the conversion over, bringing the score to Buffaloes 18 – 24.

As the Buffaloes rallied to level the scores, controversy ensued from the kick-off. The Buffaloes gathered the ball a couple of feet from the touchline, yet the home side’s coach, who also served as the sole linesman for the day, raised his flag, claiming a foot had touched the line. Despite protests from the Buffaloes, the referee awarded possession to the home side. The ensuing play resulted in a penalty being awarded for an alleged high tackle, allowing the home side to extend their lead by two points from the penalty, bringing the score to Buffaloes 18 – 26.

The buffaloes decided to mix it up and opted for a lovely short kick-off. Kieran McFarlane calmly gathered the ball two meters past the line, only for the referee, seemingly unsighted, to award a penalty to the home side for the ball not travelling the required ten meters.

With a full interchange bench at their disposal, the home side capitalised on fresh legs to score two more tries before the final whistle, securing a victory with Buffaloes 18 – 36.

Full-time score: Buffaloes 18 – 36.

The home coach’s jubilation was marred by his poor sportsmanship, casting a shadow over his side’s win and discrediting the newly merged Greetland/Elland team. After the match, the home side’s game-day manager offered apologies to the Buffaloes officials for his coach’s unacceptable behaviour, emphasising that such conduct would not be tolerated in the future.

Despite falling short of victory, the courageous Buffaloes team deserves commendation for their unwavering commitment displayed throughout the match. Every member of the fifteen-man squad showcased their dedication to the Buffaloes, fighting valiantly until the final whistle. We now begin to look forward to the upcoming weekend, which promises two cup ties: the first team will host Castleford Panthers, while the A team will embark on a journey to face Garforth.

Buffaloes: 1) Jamie Donelly, 2) Liam Lether, 3) Omar Aziz, 4) Lewis Gaunt, 5) Ben Gaunt, 6) Lewis Johnson, 7) Keiran McFarlane, 8) Jacob Oldroyd, 9) Dan Booth, 10) Tony Morrison, 11) Michael Wright, 12) Billy Butterworth, 13) Cam Leeming, Subs (all used); 14) James Clark, 15) Robert Brown.

Try scorers: Leeming (12, 55), Booth (45)

Goals: McFarlane (10, 55, 60)


Name TR CON PEN DG Cards
Daniel Booth (c)
4 3
9 2


Name TR CON PEN DG Cards