Elland lose way in second half

Milford v Elland'Gareth Webb scores
Milford v Elland'Gareth Webb scores

Elland slipped to 10th place in Division One of the National Conference League after a disappointing 32-18 defeat away to Milford Marlins.

The visitors adapted well to the astro-turf pitch at the Leeds Rugby Academy and took an early lead when Cayci Pearson forced his way through several tackles to score and convert.

Marlins came straight back following a knock on from the kick off. Elland regained possession but then handed it back and some scrappy play from the visitors resulted in a try on a flank for the home side, the conversion going in via a post.

Elland regained the lead with an unconverted try from Gareth Webb, who showed his strength wide out.

It got over better for Karl Fairbank’s men when, following a penalty for a high tackle on Richard Crawshaw, a nice grubber kick from Ben Anderson enabled winger Oliver Fairbank to score.

The kick was missed but Elland led 14-6.

Weak tackling allowed Marlins to score by the side of the posts, the kick again hitting an upright but this time bouncing wide.

Neither side made much headway at the start of the second half before Milford took the lead for the first time with an interception try and conversion for 16-14.

Marlins were playing much better now and although Elland held them up on the try line the ball was moved quickly to the wing for an unconverted try.

A long-range penalty opened up an eight-point gap and the home side shot into a 32-14 lead with two more tries, the second following a failed Elland interception attempt.

Elland responded from Anderson’s good kick off which Marlins allowed to bounce. Visiting man of the match Brad Ratcliffe sent fullback James Marshall away on a good run and Oliver Fairbank crossed for his second to complete the scoring.

Elland will be hoping for an improved showing at home to Ince Rose Bridge, who are five places above them, next weekend.