Last gasp defeat at new home
by Andy & Devon Johnson
After changes off the field and a fresh start at West Leeds RU, we needed a victory to kick start the season in our new home for the remainder of 2021, but unfortunately, this wasn’t to be.
The defeat was definitely not down to the effort and commitment of 17 players who took the field for the home encounter with Sharlston. Those who know me would say referees (with few exceptions) are not often on my Christmas card list and today’s man in black was no exception to the rule.
The Buffaloes were indeed up for this game and spent almost all the first 20 minutes in the Sharlston half. It looked like when rather than if the Buffaloes would score the opening try.
The first time Bramley were over the line was on 8 mins, but the referee chalked it off for not grounding the ball, and this set the pattern for the match.
On 12 minutes, a lovely inside pass found loose forward Curtis Sidebottom, who went in low across the whitewash with the ball firmly underneath him. The Sharslton defenders, after the ball had hit the turf, turned Curtis over and claimed no try, and for the second time, the referee (who wasn’t in the best position to see the grounding) agreed and signalled no try.
The Bramley team was not in agreement with the decision and incurred the official’s wrath giving away a penalty for foul language.
Sharlston had looked tired but were suddenly full of energy when, after the Buffaloes were penalised for a ball steal, their first real attack of the game on 20 mins ended in a converted try alongside the posts.
Only 5 mins later, the Sharlston loose forward went in for Sharlston’s second converted try to leave the score Buffaloes 0 – 12 Sharlston.
The Buffaloes, however, came roaring back in the 30 min when a fine passing move across several pairs of hands ended with a try from wingman Conner Booth. Unfortunately, Martin Loveridge was inches wide with his conversion attempt. Buffaloes 4 – 12 Sharlston.
In the 35th minute, it looked like Bradley Wilson had swept in the Buffaloes second try as he went over the line after a short inside pass. Unfortunately, the referee was again on the blind side of the act of grounding and ruled out the 3rd try of the afternoon, and Bradley only had a bloodied nose for his efforts.
This ended the first half with the Half Time score – Buffaloes 4 -12 Sharlston.
As in the first half, the Buffaloes came out all guns blazing, and on 42 minutes, Louie Morrison completed a marvellous underarm pass that was swept forward by Jack Wilson to go 20 metres to score. Martin Loveridge converted to bring the scoreline Buffaloes 10 – 12 Sharlston.
The Buffaloes continued to press, but unfortunately, a Sharlston interception sent the stand-off away. Although he looked like he was going to be overhauled by Kieran Hudson. But the supporting Sharlston second-rower appeared to subtly move his leg towards Kieran as he passed him, ensuring the try was scored. The referee apparently didn’t see the obstruction, but a small measure of justice was that the conversion attempt hit the post. 47 mins the score was Buffaloes 10 – 16.
Bramley, however, continued to press forward, and in the 55 min Louise Morrison appeared to score a try wide to the left, but for the fourth time, the referee cancelled out the try and to rub salt in the wounds gave Dan Mitchell a yellow card.
Only a minute later, Sharlston increased their lead with a penalty Buffaloes 10 – 18 Sharlston.
In the 65th minute, the Buffaloes did have a fine try awarded scored on the touchline by Cam McGill, but the conversion from Martin Loveridge just went wide Buffaloes 14 – 18 Sharlston.
In the 70th minute, the Buffaloes scored what was the try of the match, if not the season. A last tackle kick cross-field kick hung high and wide and was magnificently caught and dotted down by wingman Conner Booth for his second try of the afternoon. The conversion from the touchline went wide, but the scores were level Buffaloes 18 – 18 Sharlston.
In the 72nd minute, a Martin Loveridge drop goal attempt went wide, as did an attempt by Sharlston. Sharlston were pulled back for a forward pass, and Conner Booth took the ball up but had his arm heavily jerked in the tackle, causing what looked like a severe injury, and he could play no further part in the match.
It looked like a draw was on the cards as Sharlston moved the ball to centre field with seconds on the clock for a final drop goal attempt that the Buffaloes were ready for, but the ball instead found a supporting Sharlston forward who scampered in for the match-winning try.
Full-Time score Buffaloes 18 – 24 Sharlston.
Buffaloes; 1) Jack Wilson, 2) Connor Booth, 3) Codey Downey, 4) Kieran Hudson, 5) Cameron McGill, 6) Martin Loveridge 7) Bradley Wilson, 8) Courage Mkuhani 9) Lochlan McGill, 10) Louis Morrison, 11) Tom Langton, 12) Daniel Mitchell, 13) Curtis Sidebottom, Subs (all used) 14) Connor McGill 15) Oliver Greaves 16) Jacob Oldroyd 17) Michael Emmett.
Tries: Booth (35), 70mins, Jack Wilson (42), Cameron McGill (65)
Goals: Loveridge 42 mins
Sharlston; 1) Joshua Beecher, 2) Jakob Lupton, 3) Sam Wilson, 4) James Neil, 5) Joshua Sneesby, 6 )Lee Dutson 7) Jorge Richardson, 8) Gary Smith 9) Shane Simpson, 10) Kyle Littlewood, 11) Yemi George, 12) Kyle Outson, 13) Adam Jones, Subs (all used) 14) Lee Bettinson, 15) Benjamin Lyons, 16) Stephen Garfitt, 17) Khyle Black