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Gritty Baildon are off the mark at last
Baildon 13, Leodiensian 6
Despite the late withdrawal from the squad of lock James Fox and the dismissal of hooker Tom Craven for two yellow cards ten minutes into the second half, Baildon registered their first win of the season in SSE Yorkshire Division Two with a display of tremendous courage and mental strength to overcome a side who earlier in the season had beaten them 49-3.
Playing uphill into a stiff breeze, the Jenny Laners executed head coach Adam Falkner's instructions and kept things tight in the first half with some determined and disciplined defence, which restricted the visitors to just one penalty success.
His team then exceeded his expectations when Nick Lister rounded his opposite number close to the line to score under the posts just before half time.
The fly half's try was a virtual carbon-copy of the one he had scored the previous week at Knottingley, and once again gave fullback Jarrod Huss the easiest of conversions to edge Baildon 7-3 in front at the break.
The hosts conceded ground cheaply from the restart but Falkner's instructions to keep the ball in hand, rather than relying on kicking with the strong wind to gain territory, was again adhered to, with Craven, No 8 Alistair Beaumont and replacement prop Connor Ward carrying the ball superbly.
A lack of possession frustrated the Leodiensians forwards, and Huss increased Baildon's lead to seven points with a penalty on 47 minutes when the visitors were offside at the ruck.
However, the visitors hit back with a penalty two minutes later and, following the controversial dismissal of Craven shortly afterwards, Baildon looked to be once again about to press the self-destruct button.
The Jenny Laners suffered a further setback ten minutes later when skipper Jonny Picken, who had led his pack superbly, had to leave the pitch with suspected concussion.
But Baildon dug deep and once again forced their opponents into mistakes, which gave Huss the opportunity to land his second penalty of the half and restore the seven-point cushion on 57 minutes.
Rather than sitting back, the Jenny Laners continued to play the better rugby and closed out the game superbly to register their first win with a gritty and determined display.
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