Wibsey are muddy marvels as they thwart late West Bowling charge (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Wibsey are muddy marvels as they thwart late West Bowling charge
Buy this photo » WHO’S WHO? Players muck in on the Northfield Road mudbath
Wibsey 14 West Bowling 4
A resolute second-half defensive stint earned holders Wibsey Warriors a berth in the Jack Senior Memorial Bradford Cup final at a snow-swept Northfield Road.
Wibsey established an early lead when they took a tap and run after Bowling stand-off Liam Darville strayed offside at a scrum.
Full back Mike Derrick joined the line to make the extra man, leaving wingman Jimmy Rogers a clear run into the corner.
The advantage did not last long, however, as Bowling powered upfield and forced a Warriors mistake at a set-piece which allowed second-row forward Liam Brown the chance to outmuscle four defenders on his charge to the whitewash.
With parity restored at 4-4 the conditions deteriorated rapidly, making handling a lottery, but Derrick showed great skill when he collected a switched pass to glide under the posts, leaving scrum half Simon Sewell a simple conversion.
The defining moment of the first half came when Warriors loose forward Henry Hall condescendingly patted Bowling packman Jonny Summers on the head after he had dropped the ball. Summers immediately took offence and was marched to the sin-bin after extracting retribution.
The hosts took advantage of their extra man with a neat grubber kick to the line from stand-off Ryan Smith and centre Nick Fontaine won the race to touch down for another unconverted effort.
At 14-4 the match was in the melting pot and it was clearly going to be a war of attrition in the mud and gloom.
Substitute forward Aidy Leek gave Bowling a tonic with a scampering 40-metre run up the middle before Smith replied for the hosts in identical fashion.
Bowling hearts were in their mouths when centre Adam Reardon failed to touch down following a splendid raid and they continued to look the more dangerous by forcing a number of goal-line drop-outs.
Warriors prop Mike Kite was given a yellow card for interfering in the tackle but the loss had little effect on a Warriors outfit that was defending with grit and determination.
Bowling’s final hurrah saw the mighty Leek once more tear through the sliding defence, only to see his final pass to centre Jack Dawson hit the turf, leaving the second half scoreless and a triumphant Wibsey outfit celebrating a return to Odsal Stadium in May.