West Bowling 32 Hunslet Warriors 30

ELLIOTT Cousins scored at the death as West Bowling staged an astonishing comeback to snatch an improbable 32-30 win against Hunslet Warriors in the Kingston National Conference Division Two clash at Emsleys Rec.

Bowling made a dreadful start when they allowed the ball to be shipped from a tackle to see Warriors centre Chris Hartley scamper over and they compounded their misery further by kicking the restart directly into touch.

This allowed the visitors to take two quick drives from the penalty to put their other centre Gareth Croft over the whitewash.

A crafty show and go from stand-off Daryl Gaunt saw him over at the side of the sticks and he added his third conversion to ensure a 18-0 lead.

Bowling enjoyed a welcome escape when the Warriors had a further touchdown disallowed for taking centre Jake Green out whilst he was catching the ball in the air.

The pace and enthusiasm of the Hunslet side dominated further when wingman Ben Smith crossed from a scrum for another converted try but the arrival of Bowling talisman Richard Lumb from the bench at last stemmed the tide.

He powered onto a short offload to barge in at the posts, leaving full back Ben Heald to tag on the extras.

A cracking handling move gave wingman James Crabb the chance to cross at the flag but the Warriors wingman Jake Southern replied in kind to see his side go 28-10 up at the break.

The visitors looked decidedly vulnerable on the restart when Gaunt decided to kick a penalty rather than run the gauntlet and West’s looked a different outfit completely when second row forward Jack Milburn charged over.

That score left substitute Liam Coe to add the touchline conversion, which went in off the crossbar.

A high bomb caused havoc in the visitor’s rearguard, allowing Green to scamper in and close the gap further and Bowling moved to two points adrift when Lumb proved to be unstoppable on a 10 metre charge to the uprights.

Coe made sure of both conversions before a crucial ball steal by substitute Cousin allowed West’s to camp out in the Hunslet red zone.

With the clock counting down into injury time, Cousin proved to be the match winner when he took on the defence on the outside to reach the chalk to give Bowling a win that seemed impossible at the end of the first stanza.