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The Tykes save the best for last

Biggest fan.

By Toptyke
April 24 2012

In the words of Vanessa Williams, “Its not how I hoped or how I’d planned” but Leeds Carnegie finished off their 2011/12 Championship campaign with aplomb.On what was an emotional day for all connected to the club, passion was raw from the outset on the field of play on Saturday. Departing stalwarts Mike MacDonald and Lee Blackett lead out the side alongside fellow leaver Scott Barrow.

Straight from the kick-off the green and whites made the start that they had been craving all season and managed to cross the whitewash with their very first attack.  Quick ball from Craig Hampson left a man over on the left wing and after good interplay between all three members of the back row, Mr Consistent Michael Stephenson was left with the simple task of taking Chris Walker’s pass and strolling towards the posts.  As expected, Tommy Bell, utilised as a fly-half for the first time all season, added the extras.


True to recent form, Leeds were immediately reeled back in through avoidable ill-discipline, leaving Grant Pointer with an unmissable penalty to take the score to 7-3.  Another Leeds penalty put the home side a score ahead once again before cult hero Blackett capped his final performance with a try after a great short side move.  Craig Hampson and Chris Walker were once again instrumental in the build-up to the winger’s 24th try for the club.  Bell added the extra to extend Carnegie’s lead to fourteen points.

However Pirates struck back shortly afterwards, through winger Rhodri Mcatee who finished a fine Pirates move from the base of a ruck after a great flick-on from outside centre Andrew Suniula.

Carnegie were not to be stopped in their tracks and a further Bell penalty took the scores to 20-8 in favour of the home side.  However just before the interval Pirates were awarded a somewhat controversial second try after hooker Rob Elloway scored fortuitously off the back of a ruck, although the home fans voiced their displeasure at what they believed was a double movement.

Pointer failed to add the conversion once again meaning the teams left for the interval with the game fascinatingly poised at 20-13.  Sadly just minutes before the whistle went for the end of the first half, Lee Blackett had to bring the curtain down on his Carnegie career prematurely through a leg injury but received a fitting standing ovation as his seven and a half year tenure came to a close.

Iain Thornley showed great athleticism to power his way over from a wonderfully weighted grubber kick from fellow Sale Sharks loanee Tommy Bell.

Bell, the Tykes leading points scorer added a sublime touchline conversion to put his side two scores ahead.  In the next wave of attack Bell added another three points to put the home side into what was effectively an unassailable lead.

Man of the Match Chris Walker then earned Leeds a rare bonus point victory as he latched on to an inviting pass from American prop Mike MacDonald who unselfishly avoided the temptation to try and score himself on his swan song appearance.

An even more unexpected 5th try was to follow as the team produced what is arguably one of their best pieces of play all season to slice through an unusually lack lustre Pirates defence.  Tommy Bell received the ball just outside his own 20 metre line and opted to confidently run through his opposite number before offloading to replacement winger Pete Lucock who was hauled down just 5 metres short of the line.  Chris Walker, who has recently committed his future to the club by signing a two year contract extension, stood at first receiver and drove his team even closer.  Quick thinking from number nine Hampson allowed him to spot a gap at the pillar of the breakdown and through an audacious dummy to amass an impressive 42 points by going under for Leeds’ final try.

Pirates added some respectability to the scoreline with two late consolation tries, the first of which will have some significance for Leeds Carnegie supporters.  David Doherty, who confirmed in the Long Bar after the game that he is set to return to his old stomping ground from the beginning of next season, made a fine burst down the South stand touchline, out pacing the carnegie back line, before offloading inside to substitute Phil Burgess to go over from short range.

Some tired Leeds defense was instrumental in the Pirates’ final score after several phases of pick and drives from the visiting pack eventually took its tole as replacement hooker Dave Ward managed to plough his way over the line to give the Cornish side a rather bizarre 4-try bonus point.  Returning outhalf Ceiron Thomas slotted the conversion to ironic  jeers from the South Stand, bringing the game to a close with a scoreline of Leeds 42-25 Cornish Pirates.

A commanding victory on a day which was a lot about sending loyal servants off on a high   but also to lay down a marker of what, should they retain the majority of their young talent, fans should be expect next season.  Although it may not appear so at present, the coaching staff and everyone behind the scenes at Leeds Carnegie believe that there will be reasons to be cheerful in twelve months time.


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The Tykes save the best for last (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 05:43
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2012:05:11:05:31:11 by WildWillie .

Re: The Tykes save the best for last
Rocky's Dad (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 07:42
Thanks for a great review I wish I cuold have been there with you all(Sm128)

John R
Re: The Tykes save the best for last
John R (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 08:29
Nice one Toptyke!

Very accurate and thought provoking report, the future is somewhere ahead, we can only wait and see.

Up the Carnegie TYKES !

Re: The Tykes save the best for last
Mark_C (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 08:41
Good one as usual, Ben.

Hope to catch up with you sometime over the summer.

Miserati - and Proud to be!

Re: The Tykes save the best for last
Gelbel (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 10:45
Not called Toptyke for nothing!

Re: The Tykes save the best for last
Haxbytyke (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 14:18
Excellent summary of events last Saturday. Well done.

We've been through it all together.

Re: The Tykes save the best for last
exheadingley (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 15:51
I believe the team played the game they wanted and felt capable of playing. Nothing to loose so lets not totally go by what the coach says and show what we really can do.

If we had had this attitude earlier we would have been playing Bristol for a chance for the Premiership

Re: The Tykes save the best for last
SoopaLeeds (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 19:37
Thank you Toptyke!


Re: The Tykes save the best for last
Bittern (IP Logged)
25/04/2012 23:10
The final offload for the first Stevo try came from Richard Beck as the highlights on the Offy will confirm. Don't blame you Toptyke as this was an error Phil Daly started and was compounded by the YEP report of the match.

Re: The Tykes save the best for last
Beeston Lion (IP Logged)
26/04/2012 23:48
We don't have the luxury of a YEP Rugby Union correspondent. For some time now I believe they have used Phil Daly's Carnegie reports, but without crediting him with the pieces.

Re: The Tykes save the best for last
ellishicks (IP Logged)
27/04/2012 20:31
I believe the team played the game they wanted and felt capable of playing. Nothing to loose so lets not totally go by what the coach says and show what we really can do.
If we had had this attitude earlier we would have been playing Bristol for a chance for the Premiership

I suspect most of us thought that we would be attempting that sort of game with our new 'backs' coach. I'm not sure it would have been more successful over the course of the
season but it would have been great to watch and we would have developed the team and crucially our support. Instead we had a monumental foul-up. DE has to make it clear to all of us that it won't happen again. If not, HC will be finished with Union.

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