19th March 2017, 09:16 | university
The semi-finals of the cup took place on the February 22, with Leeds Trinity, Leeds Becket, Manchester and Chester all fighting for a place in the final. Chester faced a short journey to 2A counterparts Manchester, in a game where the home side were firm favourites to win. True to form they scored 84 unanswered points to book their place in the final.
Meanwhile Leeds Becket A welcomed neighbours Leeds Trinity for the third meeting between the two rivals this year. With honours even in their league encounters, the semi-final was poised to be extremely close. This ended up being the case, with Becket holding on for a tight 26-24 victory, shattering Trinity’s dreams on some silverware.
Two weeks later, the final took place at York St John University. A first piece of silverware beckoned for Manchester while Becket were looking for their second, with the Yorkshire outfit being the firm favourites having come through a much harder draw thus far.
Becket were quickly out the blocks, racking up 16 points in the first 15 minutes. Manchester crossed for a try midway through the half and there was little to choose between the sides in the following 15 minutes. But Leeds touched down again just before the break, condemning Manchester to a 14-point deficit at half-time.
The second-half saw an exchanging of tries – Manchester scoring twice after the break to reduce the deficit to four but Leeds hit back with another try, taking the score to 26-16. Another try from Manchester and a penalty from Becket saw the 2B champions claim their second trophy of the season with a 28-20 victory.
League action has also continued throughout the cup drama. In 2B, Huddersfield condemned Leeds to yet another defeat winning 34-4 at home. A week later Trinity welcomed Durham, prevailing by 50 points to 26 after an early scare by the visitors. A short distance away in Huddersfield, Leeds Becket won a gripping encounter 36-32.
This week saw the return fixture, however this one was not as close with Becket winning 46-8. The 2B table remains unchanged, with Leeds Becket confirming themselves as champions to bring the curtain down on a very impressive season.
In 3B there are several games to catch-up on. Strugglers York threatened to turn the league on its head as they put together a run of three wins in three weeks, brushing aside Sheffield A twice and Bradford. In other games, Hull A and Bradford played a double header, with the spoils going to Hull on both occasions, 24-18 and 32-22. Despite a late resurgence from York, they remain at the foot of the table with Hull at the top.