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Heworth ARLFC

West Bowling 22 vs 24 Heworth. NCL Premier Division Rd 6. 13/4/24

In the National Conference League Premier Division, in their fourth successive away fixture, Heworth recorded their second win of the season after edging a tight contest 24-22 in breezy conditions at West Bowling. The two sides were level 6-6 at the break before the hosts seemed to seize control of the match when posting two quickfire tries to lead 14-6 on 54 minutes. The Villagers though, who were far from their fluent best, dug deep and showed great character in a frantic final quarter to get themselves in front for the first time in the game at 24-18 with seven minutes left on the clock. In a nail biting finale the Bradford outfit hit back to post a try in the closing seconds but were unable to add the conversion and Heworth returned home with what for the most part had looked like an unlikely victory.

The Villagers did not start well and with the wind at their backs gave away a seven-tackle set followed by a needless penalty which gifted their opponents a good attacking opportunity and they capitalised to open the scoring on four minutes with a try by loose forward Elliot Cousins converted by stand-off Liam Coe. Their struggles continued and with errors a plenty and more indiscipline they spent most of the half on the back foot. Finally, nine minutes from half time they managed to create some good field position which led to scrum half Liam Jackson sending full back Fraser West striding through a gap in the home defence to touch down and stand off Danny Allan added the extras. This seemed to settle the Villagers who started to show some signs of a recovery but the match remained all square at 6-6 at the break.

Wests came out firing at the start of the second period and they edged ahead with a try in the right corner from winger Kian Cockshott and things looked ominous for the visitors when lively full back Lewis Camden ran across the face of the defence before gliding through a gap for another unconverted score to extend their lead to 14-6. Heworth though summoned up some inner strength and right on the hour mark centre Tyler Craig broke through and shrugged off several defenders to cross for an excellent try. Allan's conversion went over via the right hand post to reduce the deficit to two points. The hosts however, responded immediately to hit back and restore a six point advantage with a touchdown from winger Logan Simpson. There was no let up in the action and three minutes later Villagers hooker Harley Axe caught the home defence unawares and burrowed his way over direct from a tap penalty close to the line. Allan slotted the two pointer to level matters at 18-18. With both sides striving to come out on top things got scrappy in a hectic final period before, with seven minutes remaining, Heworth went ahead for the first time in the contest when Allan followed up his own kick to touch down and complete a perfect afternoon with the boot to make it 24-18. There was still more drama to come and the Villagers in a nervy finish failed to control the ball on a couple of occasions and the hosts took full advantage to post Cockshott's second try in the closing seconds but as the crowd held their breath the attempted conversion drifted wide and a relieved Heworth returned home with the spoils.

Danny Allan whose kicking proved pivotal to the result took the Villagers Man of the match award.

Heworth face a stiff task next week when they make the short journey to Leeds to face reigning champions Hunslet ARLFC.

Report - Dave Ward


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