Back down to earth

WATH’S superb run of form came to an end with a 27-15 defeat at West Park Leeds.

It says something about their start to life in a higher tier that there is an element of surprise when Wath actually suffer defeat.

There was certainly some surprise that the first defeat in six matches came against a side whose record prior to the visit of Wath was of decidedly mid-table fayre.

But with a below par performance from the visitors and a strong one from hosts West Park, the outcome was definitely just.

The game did start brightly for Wath on a superb playing surface. A penalty received at the scrum allowed Ben Keen to slot over the opening score.

Wath continued to press and were rewarded with a try.

The ball was moved from one side of the pitch to the other and a superb overlap saw centre Steve Mason race over for a try.

Wath were on song with prop Dean Hardcastle gaining yards each time he had possession.

But the Moor Roaders were guilty on too many occasions of trying to force a game they were leading, resulting in bad handling and lost opportunities.

This gave West Park a way back into the game and they took it, their speedy wingers getting ever more close.

Wath did hold out and went on the attack themselves.

But overconfidence perhaps proved Wath’s undoing as they opted for a scrum at a penalty in the hope of a score rather than choosing a very makeable kick.

West Park landed a long range penalty to cut the gap before the break.

Wath extended their lead after the break when they stole a line out and back row Joe Earp went on to power over under the sticks.

Rather than going on to wrap up the match, Wath found themselves facing a rejuvinated West Park and mistakes made life easy for the hosts.

Missed tackles allowed the Leeds outfit to pull an uncoverted try back and they soon levelled with a fine overlap Wath had not answer for.

Wath enjoyed further pressure but mistakes were prevalent in attack as well as defence with ball handling letting them down.

Injuries took their toll also with back row Steve Wesson being forced onto the wing.

Wath again tried to play rugby in the wrong areas and were punished with West Park twice scoring tries from turnovers to seal the win.

Wath will hope to get back on track when they host West Leeds on Saturday.