New Ash Green XV 43 – 5 Leigh

Leigh show progress over Summer despite pre-season defeat. 

Last Saturday, the Layabouts headed off to New Ash Green on what has become a typically warm, season opening afternoon.  With only 15 in tow it was always going to be tough to match the energy levels offered by the opposing NAG squad – a mix of 1s, 2s, and anyone available really. A strong start from NAG put Leigh under pressure for the first 20 minutes but the Layabouts dogged defence held out as demonstrated during all of last season. It was an unlucky bounce that finally caught Leigh out and a quick pick and drop for NAG to score, the conversion hitting the post. Layabouts soon equalised with a well worked try for Dan Pollen on the wing. The ball fed carefully down the line by a new centre pairing of Will Bailey and Chris Taylor allowing Pollen to shirk his way through the 22 for a score on the left. Chris Austin’s conversion attempt just short. 
A period of solid play from both sides continued with the set pieces going exceptionally well for Leigh, an area of keen focus during the Summer training.  Scrums we’re solid and occasionally disruptive, lineout accuracy much improved with plenty of jumping options. As the afternoon sun continued to beat down though, Leigh started to show signs of tiring, the hard ground causing a several knocks and the need for attention. NAG on the contrary had a full bench, and released several fresh legs resulting in a couple of quick tries before half time.  

The second half started intensely for both sides, but a couple of scores gave NAG a quick healthy lead. Surprisingly with so many subs, NAG were forced to go uncontested in the scrum which took the sting out of the game for Leigh. NAG played to this as an advantage and threw the ball wide to their wings often. More tries followed as a result of excellent support play from NAG and Leigh heads finally dropped. The final score of 43-5 did not reflect the intensity of the game and the good control exerted by Leigh in places. First league game is on 16th September at home to Canterbury 4s kick off at 3pm. 

Next week however is FODfest, gates open at 12pm with first game kicking off at 1pm. Teams from Cliffe, Bromley and Chiddingstone will compete in a 12-a-side cup competition, with a parallel mixed touch tournament for the Ladybirds, Leigh’s new ladies team. We hope to see you there. 

More details can be found here