By Christopher Stott
UCLan have booked themselves a place in the Northern Conference Cup Final after seeing of Leeds Trinity 10-6 in testing conditions.
Tries from club vice-captain Aaron Hall and Winger Jake Ellis where enough to keep their unbeaten run going as well as hopes of a potential league and cup double.
Conditions were extremely poor underfoot with parts of the field resembling a mud bath rather than a rugby pitch, and this was a major factor in a rather uneventful first half. Barring a couple of close calls at either end, neither defensive line was breached so the half finished scoreless.
The first half arm-wrestle eventually broke out into some decent attacking rugby, and it was hosts Leeds who opened the scoring. A kick to the right corner caused all sorts of issues when it hit the sodden turf and it fell kindly for the Trinity winger to score.
Both spurned half chances before UCLan got on the score sheet in the final quarter. Aaron Hall stormed onto a dummy half ball five metres out to crash over next to the posts and claim a decisive score. Rob Marsh added the extras to square it up.
The game sparked into life after this, and UCLan became more and more threatening. Breaks from the impressive Alex Bates gave the visitors momentum, and it was a break from fellow back Jake Melling that gave position for the winning try.
A blind side play saw Lewis Christian able to feed Wing partner Ellis who dove into the corner to edge UCLan ahead.
Leeds mounted a late onslaught, but they were kept at bay by some outstanding UCLan defence from Joe Gilpin and Aaron Hall amongst others.
UCLan will now face York St John’s in the final in a fortnight’s time.