Odsal Sedbergh 2 Wibsey Warriors 14
A crucial second-half try from prop forward Chris Vogel put Wibsey Warriors on course for a hard-fought first-round success against Odsal Sedbergh in the Bradford ARL Jack Senior Memorial Cup at Odsal Rec.
Sedge got the match underway with first use of the slope as the heavens opened and a storm made the already heavy conditions treacherous underfoot.
Both teams to their credit managed to keep the ball in hand as the tackles flew in thick and fast, with the Warriors’ pack having to pull out all the stops to keep the hosts at bay.
Sedbergh loose forward Luke Sellers covered every inch of the sparse grass trying to find a chink in the Wibsey armoury and all the pressure finally told when second-row forward Luke Dawson slotted over a penalty after the Warriors were guilty of a high shot.
Premier Division Wibsey then knew they were in for a battle royal against the Division One outfit, who tenaciously defended their line to close the half 2-0 up.
Wibsey, who have an excellent record in all cup competitions this term, now had the elements in their favour but they were soon reduced in numbers when packman Danny Conroy was sent to the sin bin for punching.
They shrugged off their disadvantage when Vogel powered onto a short pass and brushed aside three attempts to haul him down to reach out and plant the ball on the whitewash, leaving scrum half Luke Helliwell to add what turned out to be his only conversion.
Sedge stand-off Paul Botto-mley and centre Robert Priestley combined to go close before a looped pass from Helliwell enabled loose forward Gavin Mezals to aquaplane his way over.
At 10-2 the visitors virtually had the tie in the bag and any lingering doubts were quickly dispelled when dreadnought battleship-built wingman Neil Wall weaved his way through tired legs to cross at the flag for the last act of an absorbing cup tie.
Referee Bob Ingham – who was superb throughout – decided enough was enough, with both teams nearly unrecognisable, and blew five minutes early for a well-deserved early bath for all concerned.