West Leeds 5

(Yorkshire Shield)

GAVIN STEAD’S 37-point haul set the seal on a solid performance against an old adversary and highlighted the difference between a good Yorkshire I side and a team going well in the division below.

Expectations were high after their recent run of results, but the visitors can never be ruled out, having given the YM some tough times over the years.

However, this was not going to be one of them as Ed Barber made a break from the kick-off and released Stead to score the first of a hat trick of tries, to which he also added the first of 11 conversions.

From that point on it was almost a procession as YMCA, who are at home to Ilkley on Saturday, December 1 in the second round, seemed to score at will, full-back Matt Johnson setting up the next try as the ball was moved quickly through the hands of Jack Housley, Adam Ryder and Ed Barber to winger Lloyd Bentley who skipped through the remnants of Leeds’ defence to score wide out, Stead missing his only conversion of the game.

Sam Housley followed up a speculative kick to score YM’s third try before Bentley grabbed his second after collecting a clearance kick and snaking his way through the visitors dazed defence to a superb individual score.

The forwards then got in on the act with No8 Josh Lumb getting the touchdown after Leeds were driven back over their own line before flanker Sam Hodge was on the end of a move started by hooker Ben Hill for try No6.

West Leeds were rewarded for some effort by their only score of the game just before the interval when winger Josh Cassell scored an unconverted try leaving them trailing 40-5.

YM re-asserted their dominance to start the second half when Lumb was on hand at the back of a scrum to notch his second and this was quickly followed by a try from new signing Greg Robertson, having his first run-out for the club from the bench after joining from Old Brodleians.

A great take from Hodge set up Stead’s second try, who also added his third after some slick handling to take the score to 68-5.

With the ball whizzing around the backs, suddenly up popped forward James Bell to ghost his way through for a magnificent effort which signalled YM’s 11th try of the game, and Ryder, who had been acting as supplier for much of the match, reminded the crowd of his try-scoring ability by sprinting through for the final touchdown of the day.

An easy victory then, but YM will need to retain this sort of form when they confront Wath-on-Dearne and Driffield over the next couple of weeks.

YMCA: Johnson, Stead, Ryder, S Housley, Bentley, Barber, Wilson; Neilly, Hill, Ste Dyke, Stu Dyke, J Housley, Sharrock, Hodge, Lumb. Interchange: Bell, Robertson, Spencer.