Late goals give Elland derby win

Elland retained local bragging rights with a 29-26 victory over Ovenden in Saturday’s National Conference Division Two derby at Four Fields.

With the scores level going into the last few minutes, a towering drop goal from Cayci Pearson and a late Phil Taylor penalty gave the visitors the points.

Elland, who won both last season’s encounters, had an early score surprisingly chalked off after Ovenden had failed to deal with Taylor’s bomb.

However, when another high kick from Taylor was spilled, Dean Avis collected the ball and opened the scoring, Taylor adding the extras.

Ovenden decided to try the same tactic and when the visitors lost the ball, from the scrum Gareth English beat the defence and Luke Sandland’s goal put his side level.

Chris Geoghegan and Matt Short made progress into the Elland 22 and from a short pass Geoghegan forced his way over the line for Sandland to add the goal.

The visitors hit back. Poor defending by the home side allowed Thomas Harnett an easy score and Elland went further in front through Richard Crawshaw after Ovenden were penalised, Taylor adding the goal.

English then forced his way over after the home side were awarded a penalty, Sandland’s goal putting the home side two points up.

Elland were next to score, Junaid Malik setting up Ethan Ingham after running the ball on the last tackle.

The lead swapped hands again when Ben Lister, playing his first game of the season, burrowed over from acting half-back, Sandland again adding the goal.

Both sides were guilty of losing possession when in a good position and when Ovenden coughed up the ball George Fairbank again tied the scores and Taylor’s goal gave Elland the lead.

With time running out Sandland made it 26-26 with a penalty.

Ovenden retained possession from the kick off and made progress upfield but again lost the ball.

Elland regained the lead with a huge drop goal by Pearson and when Ovenden were penalised right at the end, Taylor’s penalty ensured his side a hard-earned victory.